Meditative Moments: Eating Mindfully

If you’re not sure Whether You Should Meditate then dash back here once you are!

Now that we all know we should settle in to a beautiful meditation practice, let’s get started… At first, it can feel daunting to take some time to ourselves and sit alone in a quiet room, with our eyes closed and no idea what to expect. So why not start with baby steps? Something we do every day, eating, can be turned into a meditative moment. Let us explain how to eat mindfully…

1) Cook Often

We always have excuses to reach for processed foods, pre-prepared dishes and ready-meals. We don’t have time to cook from scratch. That doesn’t wash! There are recipe books out there specifically for those who only have a matter of minutes to cook. Cooking from scratch is expensive. Erm, no. The other week, the UK’s most popular supermarket chain was offering three WHOLE CHICKENS for just £10. Home-cooked meals taste better too. So, that’s settled.

2) Concentrate

This can be so hard for most of us. Nine times out of ten, when we are eating we are simultaneously doing something else. Reading, texting, watching television whilst eating can sometimes save time, but multi-tasking often means that we don’t get the most out of either task. So next time we get the munchies, let’s set aside the assignments, the cell phone, the television remote. Phew, that’s better.

3) Use Your Sense of Smell

Before diving head-first into your spaghetti bolognese, close your eyes and smell your food. Smell it as it cooks, smell it from the plate, smell it close up. Just smell it. Be aware of what flavours you can smell the most… Did you go heavy on the garlic this time? Did you add some extra bacon today? What effect does the smell of the ingredients have on you? Are you super-excited to eat? Is your stomach grumbling? Enjoy the moment!

4) Observe

Open your eyes now and look down at your food. What colours and shapes do you see? How much food is in front of you? How will you eat it? With a fork? By hand? What makes it appealing to you right now?

5) Give Thanks

We aren’t suggesting that you put your hands together and thank God for the meal on your table if that’s not your thing. But think about how far this food has come… where the ingredients were grown and produced. Did they need sun, or rain, or wind in order to become so delicious and nutritious? Consider the people that has a part in bringing this meal to your table. From the farmers, to the transporters, to the retailers. Think about the person that taught you the recipe, and think about yourself, the person that created this meal. Give gratitude before consuming the meal.

6) Make Every Bite Count

Some people love to mix all of the components of their dish together whilst others prefer to taste them individually, but however you like it most really take the time to enjoy every bite. Distinguish the individual flavours and textures, and appreciate how they complement each other.

7) Don’t Rush

One of the things we are most guilty of is rushing our meals. We do it all the time! Whether it is shoving a wrap down during our half-hour lunch break, eating while driving or chowing-down in time to go and collect the kids from whatever hobby they have taken up this week, it is no wonder we have such awful digestion issues in the West! Take individual bites, chew, enjoy, swallow, before spooning the next bite in. The world can wait while we savour the fruits of our labour!

What are your greatest eating sins? Have you ever tried to eat mindfully? What do you think the benefits of eating mindfully might be?

Love and light

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