Mindful Eating with The Heart Movement
The first time I remember eating really consciously was on a dancing retreat in Holland 20+ years ago. After 24 hours of being in silence and not eating anything at all, we were served a simple Mushroom Soup. I recall eating it very slowly, savouring every mouthful, feeling the hot food in my mouth, chewing it slowly and swallowing consciously. I’ve tried to imitate that Mushroom Soup recipe over the years but have never managed to make it quite as delicious as I remember... but looking back I can see that it was more about the experience of mindful eating. Slowing down, pausing between each mouthful, listening to my digestion and my stomach’s needs. Being in the stillness so that I could experience all of these sensations which are easily missed in normal everyday eating.
There is a way that we can replicate this experience, not just for the delightful savouring on our taste buds but also to enhance our health and digestion. It can assist with keeping our weight stable, ensuring that we don’t overeat because we notice when we are full before taking the next mouthful. We are not responding to our emotions by feeding the emptiness inside of us through stuffing ourselves mindlessly and instantly with food. As most of us know, this doesn’t help and often leaves us feeling physically sick and uncomfortable; emotionally guilty or ashamed.
Here are some tips to help with Mindful Eating
• Sit down at a table to eat wherever possible
• Eliminate distractions by turning off the tv and putting your phone on silent
• Eat in silence (knowing this is not always possible with a family but you could try making it a game for the kids to enjoy)
• Eat more slowly, chewing everything thoroughly before you swallow.
• Consciously noticing the taste and texture and how it feels in your mouth.
• Don’t rush your meal.
• Pause between each mouthful. It can help to put your knife and fork down.
Consciously Feeling Your Body
• Focus on how the food makes you feel.
• Stop eating when you feel full even if there is still food on your plate.
• Even if the food is delicious, ask the question: Have I had enough?
Try it and see how you get on. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to make that Mushroom Soup....