How often do you stop to savor your food?
To really take the time to appreciate, enjoy, and explore the many pleasures that come from the simple act of eating?
Food is a basic necessity for our existence. It’s also a great experience through which we can cultivate mindfulness.
The next time you reach for something to gobble down, think about trying this 5-minute mindful eating meditation.
You might just find that those few moments transform your day and make each bite, each moment that much more delicious.
Mindful eating… Yum!
5-Minute Mindful Eating Meditation:
1. Arrive to this moment
If you’re in the middle of a busy day or just got home from work, take a moment to stop and switch off autopilot mode.
Resist the urge to just grab some food and scarf it down while reading your phone or kicking off your shoes.
Eating is an important part of your day. It’s the time that you replenish your body’s energy stores and send your senses on a culinary adventure. In addition, it’s also a time to check in and become present.
Think of eating as a meditation practice. Use this daily ritual as an opportunity to both connect and savor each moment. Let your food nurture your body, quiet your mind, and season your day with gratitude.
2. Take notice of your surroundings
When is the last time that you sat down and really became aware of your environment as you were eating?
Thanks in part to our hectic schedules, we have lost touch with our dining experience and don’t know how to eat mindfully. Rarely do we take the time to notice the simple pleasures around us and disconnect from our busyness in order to become present with our meal.
Food is scarfed down on the fly, with the TV, or with a cell phone in hand.
Capture the preciousness of each moment you are eating by becoming aware of your surroundings. Notice the things that bring you joy such as a painting on the wall, or the prism cast from the sun pouring in from your kitchen window.
Be mindful of abundance and luxuries that surround you. Feel gratitude for the work that went into making these things and the comfort that they bring. For the table you are sitting at, the chair you are sitting on, the utensils you are eating with. Each of these items had to be created, and at this moment, you are reaping their benefit.
3. Check in with your body
Your body likes to remind you when it’s in need of refueling.
Sometimes these reminders come with a grumble in your tummy, a headache, or low energy. For some of you, the reminder isn’t always self-evident until someone reminds you that you’re wearing your hangry face.
Beyond your physiological needs for food, there is an incredible sense of pleasure that is derived from eating.
Before you begin to chow down, notice how your body feels. Check in and see what it is telling you and how an absence of food makes you feel.
With each bite, become aware of how your meal is energizing you.
4. Explore your food
Allow your senses to feast on all of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures, and colors that come with your food.
Feel appreciation for the effort that has gone into not only putting this meal together, but producing each ingredient.
Recognize the efforts of the farmers. Take notice of the hard work that grew this food from the earth and made it available to you. Whether this meal came from items grown on the other side of the world or just down the street, feel joy for both the nourishment and enjoyment that comes out of each bite.
5. Enjoy the bliss
Savor the experience!
Turn off your phone, put away your work, focus solely on the task at hand; eating.
Appreciate the time that you are spending with your food.
Whether you are eating in a crowded restaurant, dining with family, or having a meal home alone- enjoy!
Feel gratitude for having this delicious food by taking small bites, chewing thoroughly and taking pleasure in this culinary delight.
Eating can become a regular part of your meditation practice.
With all of the sensory experiences and dining pleasures, mindful eating meditation helps you become present through your food.
In addition to cultivating gratitude mindful eating helps you learn to to savor the small joys in life. This kind of reflective exercise can make food not only a source of fuel for your body but also a great teacher.
Take a few moments at meal time to become present and open both your mind and your heart to the great joy and awareness that can be cultivated from a single bite.
Photo by Cayla1