Mindful eating: Savor the Flavor
We’ve all had those days where we seem to be rushing from one activity to the next, leaving little time to actually sit down and eat nonetheless, scarf down a quick snack in between those moment of precious “free” time. Perhaps you’ve simply grown accustomed to the rushed meal time sequence that it can feel often strange to slow down and take time to really enjoy your food. This technique seeks to go against our “rushed” lifestyles, by making time to experience each flavor filled morsel. Mindful eating is attentive and intuitive eating. It’s essentially taking the time to wholly savor and experience each food while listening to one’s body. Rooted in Buddhist teachings, this concept aims to transfer eating simply to fill an emotional void and instead to fulfill one’s body with nourishment and pleasant experience.
Here’s a few simple mindful tips and tricks that you can try to eat with more of a consciousness:
- Slow down: Try eating a square of chocolate or a small portion of food that you enjoy, but when you eat think about the flavors you taste, the textures you feel, and the aromas you smell. Take at least 5 minutes and slowly chew. It might feel rather silly and strange, but you will be amazed how many different components you might taste. Next time you have a longer lunch break or are eating alone, try setting down your utensils in between bites. This will force you to consciously think about what you’re eating rather than preparing for the next bite.
- Turn off distractions: I know it’s tempting to sit there and scroll through Facebook notifications, emails, tweets, snap chats, Instagram, etc, but for once give yourself a break from multitasking and simply focus on enjoying your meal. Perhaps even enjoy lunch with another friend. Focusing on their conversation and spending time with your friend will make you eat less quickly; just don’t talk with your mouth full.
- Take the time to understand and appreciate the different components of your meal: Taking the time to learn more about what spices and labor that goes into making your favorite dish can result in a greater appreciation for that food. It’s seems rather simple, but learning about the flavors and how your food is grown can help you develop a conscious palate. Try planting a small garden or a few herb plants in your house, you might be amazed how much this can affect your perspective on food.
- Acceptance: This technique realizes there is no right or wrong way to consume delectable foods, and each eating experience is unique. Being more accepting and self-aware enables you to reach this desired state of mind.
You’re a wonderful human being that deserves to enjoy both kale and chocolate cake. However, as a beautiful human it is your job to take care of your body. Take the time to listen to its individual cues and connection to each dish; as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics would say savor the flavor!
If you’re interested in this topic and would like further information, feel free to check out this website: http://thecenterformindfuleating.org/Principles-Mindful-Eating
Piece of pie, peace of mind.
Written by: Molly Brennan
Sophomore in Dietetics