Mindful eating isn’t just about sating our appetite, filling ourselves up from the outside. It’s also a gratitude practice: appreciating the delicious sights, tastes, and the people who made it possible for you to enjoy the plate in front of you.
This Thanksgiving, bring all of your senses to the table with these seven mindful reminders:
7 Reminders for Mindful Eating
Let the Fork Linger
Try not to let your fork or spoon become a shovel. Take a pause as you pick up your food, a half-moment to appreciate it before putting it in your mouth.
Use All Your Senses
Eating is not just about taste buds. Fruits and vegetables are natural works of art. There is color, shape, texture, coolness, heat, crunch, and many other facets, to appreciate that make a meal a total sensory experience. If you like, you can take a moment to be thankful for everyone who made it possible for you to be eating this food.
Go for the Yum Factor
Let the taste of the food put the brakes on your speedy, wandering mind. When food tastes good, it can stop you for a second if you’re really paying attention. And if you’re eating something that’s more ordinary than yummy, appreciate the simplicity.
Just as in any mindfulness practice, we will find that our mind has wandered off. No big deal. Just as you would use the breath in a formal meditation practice, use the taste and the look of the food as the anchor in the present to come back to. Repeat as needed.
Listen to Your Stomach
It takes a moment for your body to let you know that you’ve become full and satisfied. If you slow down even more as the meal progresses, there’s a better chance you’ll hear it when the bell goes off to signal that you are done. If there’s something left over, you can wrap it up and save it for another time.
Enjoy the Pause
Our days are often so filled with rushing from one thing to the next, or constantly relating to something on a screen. A meal can provide a complete break from that. Find a nice spot, settle in, and take your time with it. If you’re with others, savor the conversation, but don’t let it carry you completely away from the sensory delights of your meal.
If you’re second guessing yourself while you’re eating, it just stirs up anxiety, which is not great for digestion and habit-building. Take half a slice of pumpkin pie and commit to totally enjoying it.
Try when you can to decide about how much to take and which foods to eat before you start to eat. If you’re second guessing yourself while you’re eating, it just stirs up anxiety, which is not great for digestion and habit-building. Take half a slice of pumpkin pie and commit to totally enjoying it.