The word Mindful seems to be everywhere I look. What does it mean to be mindful. I recently embarked on a journey of mindful eating. And I am sad to say...it is harder than I imagined. I had become accustom to eating in front of the TV or computer or a book or my phone. I never stopped to think about what I was eating, where it came from, the texture, flavor or smell. Or even what feelings arose from the meal.
Once on this journey I suddenly had to eat slowly, I had to take a bite without automatically loading up my fork for the next bite. I had to notice the food and although I prepared it I still had to think where did this food begin, who picked it (as a Whole Food Plant Based Eater - almost all my food is picked), how did it get to my town, my store. I also had to notice the textures of the food and the real flavors.
Try an experiment. Sit at your table with your favorite food and without any distractions. It could be an orange, a piece of chocolate or pasta and sauce. Look at the food, notice the color, shape, size, visual texture. Smell it - does the smell reveal something about the food or bring about a memory. Put the food in your mouth and let it sit there. If it's chocolate it will begin to melt and fill your mouth with its flavor. Then take your time to chew and wait a moment before you take the next bite. Does doing this change the way you want to eat? Using all of our senses to enjoy each bite can be more profound than you would think. Slowing down and appreciating the meal or snack and the people that help bring it to your table can be more than just an opportunity to be mindful it can be an opportunity to be peaceful, appreciative and more satisfied inside and out.