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Mindful eating

Friday, October 04, 2013

Mindful eating means focusing on food while eating, and not doing anything or thinking of anything else.
Sounds easy, doesn't it?
For me it is not easy. Reading during eating has always been my number one relaxation "activity". Reading a book, or a newspaper, or most recently surfing on internet.

I first read about mindful eating in June 2011 when I joined Spark People.
I thought no, no way shall I lose the fun part, I need to read while I'm eating.

But in the past few months I read a lot about mindfulness in many ways, like walking meditation, mindful breathing and so on.
So yesterday evening I gave it a try.
I sat down in my hotel room, took my home packed ham and cheese sandwich out of the fridge, cut my two tomatoes in slices, and some walnuts left from mid-morning snack.
I turned on my laptop but didn't open any news portal or SparkPeople.
I opened some lovely October wallpaper pictures and started eating.
I focused on elements of my food. Rye bread, margarine, ham, cheese, walnuts, tomatoes. How they taste. What they look like. Where they came from. My simple dinner is in fact was made of many elements, and each traveled long before it reached my desk.
In the book I'm reading (The Art of Power by Thich Nhat Hanh) the author writes when he eats a carrot, he only thinks of the carrot, what it is like, where it came from (earth, sun, water, clouds, and a lot of work) and so that piece of carrot is the ambassador of the entire cosmos. Provided one really eats that carrot, and not one's projects, anger, to-do list or sorrow.

I finished my meal satisfied and aware of being full. This was the first time ever over my age of 6 that I didn't read while I ate a meal alone : )
I did the same today at breakfast and dinner.
Very good experience.

I'm not sure I can do it if I'm in the mood of mindless eating and binging. But let's hope!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    715 days ago
    Lovely blog

    It is almost uncomfortable for me to do this. Why is that? Do I just prefer to be distracted? Still, I try.

    There is much to be said for being in and appreciating the moment instead of always racing ahead in our minds to what needs doing next.

    Thanks for this gentle reminder.

    Blessings on your day!
    1652 days ago
  • DEB9021
    I read Mindless Eating not so long ago, and it provides lots of evidence on how easy it is to overeat when you are not attentive to your food. I do not eat in front of the TV or away from the table, but I also read frequently if eating alone. Usually I have a set portion out, so it's not like snacking continuously while paying attention to something else. However, I have noticed that I don't savor my food or enjoy the experience of eating if I am doing something else at the same time. These days we all seem to think multi-tasking is efficient, but I think I am more productive, and have a higher quality experience if I concentrate on one thing at a time. Don't get to do it often enough, as my job comes with lots of interruptions, but my brain and my spirit need the quiet time for concentration.
    1656 days ago
    1657 days ago
  • SUNSHINE20113
    Wow. Inspiring to read and a very good idea.
    1658 days ago
    1658 days ago
    1658 days ago
    Like you, I want to read while eating. Yet, being fully aware and in the moment is powerful. I try to be especially mindful when I eat cake or ice cream or something really indulgent. (admission: today I had an indulgent lunch and read while I ate it.)
    1658 days ago
    I am still trying to learn this technique and fail terribly, but each day I try again!

    1658 days ago
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