Paying attention to the foods that come across our mouths and plates is easier said than done. In today’s fast-paced world, most of us miss the chance to experience the fulfillment of consuming a meal, instead we hastily gobble down our food in order to rush off to the next endeavor. The practice of eating in a scamper can lead to overeating and choosing foods that do not benefit our health; however, the art of being present at each meal allows for a connection with the mind, body, and soul.
Nourishing the body is a notable time, which if appreciated, creates an ample moment to relax, enjoy friends and family, relish in flavors and textures, and rejuvenate. This approach to eating, though amplified when choosing nutrient dense, good “karma” foods is not centered around what you eat. The focus of it is how you eat, and your relationship to food. To reap in the benefits of mindful eating add these three simple tips to your daily routine.
Say grace. Saying a brief prayer before partaking in a meal surpasses all cultures and religions. It reminds us to be thankful for what and who we have at our tables. It gives each person time to stop and smell their food. This mindful practice brings awareness to the things in life to be thankful for and recognition of the present moment.
Set a beautiful table. Pull out the china, place-mats, and candle sticks and eat at the table or in the dining room. Observe the ritual of setting a table for dinner, then delight at the idea of taking part in an art that gives such instant gratification. The simple task of sitting down with friends, family, or alone to luxuriate in a peaceful meal encourages appreciation of the experience of eating.
Start slow. Integrating the the skill of mindful eating can take some time. Ideally, choose one meal a day to practice these tips. Deciding to eat every meal at the dining room table will take practice, but over time you will feel silly sitting in front of the television to consume food.
If you struggle with over eating or feelings of guilt centered around not achieving perfection when it comes to your eating habits, this process of appreciating every minute of your meal helps you make conscious choices about the foods you eat. This way you can break the cycle of self reproach and consuming food past the point of feeling full.