Its not just what you eat its how you eat that can fulfil you and keep you healthy.
Mindful eating is about connection with your food, with the goodness of it, the aroma, the taste sensation, the vibrancy of colours, the mouth feel of textures, the nutrition within it essential to life – with one of the essential experiences of life.
Take time to slow the process. Look at the meal, really see it. Its simplicity or its elegance. The colour and texture pallet before it hits your palate unnoticed. Let its aroma find you. A big part of taste is fragrance. Anticipate the taste. Take that first bite and savour the taste experience. Don’t rush to gulp – rather experience the sensations (taste, smell, feel, and even temperature – hot soup, cold ice-cream – all this data adds to the experience). Eat each mouthful mindfully. Savour it. Enjoy it from moment to moment to moment.
Try this exercise: contrast tastes, contrast sensations.
Mindful eating is more than deliberate, conscious eating is allowing the full potential of your self to experience the full potential of the meal – so while we eat and know we are eating, eat and know it is nutritionally restoring us, eat for the pleasure of it, we should also eat the reality of it. This exercise connects us to the reality of difference, to the diversity of sensation in eating and reminds how rich the living experience is.
Taste a finger dab of salt – experience it (really taste and acknowledge its saltiness). There is no mistaking saltiness. Now taste a finger dab of sugar – experience it – how different it is to salt. Not better, not worse. Different. Taste salt in all its saltiness and sugar in all its sugariness.
Now find a range of items to taste/experience that have contrast but the task is not to compare but to experience their uniqueness. It can be hard to separate honey, sugar and toffee out from personal preference so by juxtaposing with contrast sensations we can discern the difference without judgement and so find the uniqueness of each.
Expand beyond taste to other sensations. Sip some hot tea, then follow with an ice pop. Have a hard biscuit followed with a soft yoghurt. Experience taste and sensation of each as if for the first time – it may even be the first time you really tasted this. We may munch toast for a speedy breakfast and swill it back with coffee but did we really taste the bread, feel the crunch or the soft warmth where the butter melted. Did we enjoy the chewiness of it. Or was it um um gone.
This exercise is priming the brain to reconnect again with food. Don’t think you know what food tastes like – taste it mindfully and you will know in that moment. Taste it mindfully next week and you will know it again. Experience it each time.
This is building capacity to experience life in all the moments of it. if you can taste , you can see, you can feel, you can love, you can be.
To explore more – https://www.gillbooks.ie/spirit/spirit/by-time-is-everything-revealed