You may have heard of mindfulness before. For those who haven’t, it’s the simple practice of living in the moment and letting go of distractions. You focus your attention on one thing and let all other thoughts drift out of your mind.
This mental workout is proven to help ease your mind and build your strength against stress.
And mindful eating is a delicious way to practice! It’s all about letting go of your thoughts and tuning completely into your food.
This exercise can help you feel full with less food. So even just a small bite could give you the same satisfaction as a whole snack.
It can be a challenge to let go of distracting thoughts, but this is a great way to help you tune out the world and tune into your body!
For this exercise, you will need:
- A non-starchy veggie, like a baby carrot, a slice of cucumber, a broccoli floret, etc.
- A plate or napkin to hold your veggie
- A quiet place to eat ― anywhere you won’t be interrupted or feel self-conscious
- An open mind
Give It a Try
Follow these simple steps:
- Tune in to what you can see. Does your veggie look shiny? What colors do you notice? Examine this piece of food as if you’ve never seen anything like it before.
- Focus on what you can feel. Take the veggie into your fingers. Does it feel wet or dry? Warm or cold? Smooth or rough? Heavy or light?
- Notice what you can smell. Bring the veggie up to your nose and breathe in. Does it smell fresh? Earthy? Stinky? Floral?
- Observe what you can taste. Take a bite of your veggie. Before you chew it, notice how it feels in your mouth. What flavors can you pick up? Is it sour? Sweet? Spicy? Bitter? Salty? Then chew it once. What new flavors have you unlocked with that bite? Is it soft between your teeth, or crunchy and firm?
- Chew up the veggie slowly and with all your attention. Then swallow that bite of food. What sensations do you feel as the food travels down your throat and into your stomach? Can you feel it within you?
- After you finish, reflect on how you feel. What emotions do you notice? Are you calmer? Satisfied? Curious?
Note: Distracting thoughts will come up during this process. That’s okay! The point is to let those thoughts drift away like leaves on a stream and bring your attention back to your eating.
Practice mindful eating to slow down your eating, manage your portions, and even manage your stress!