The Buddha was asked, “What do you and your disciples practice?” and he replied, “We sit, we walk, we eat.” The questioner continued, “But Sir, everyone sits, walks, and eats.” The Buddha told him, “When we sit, we know we are sitting. When we walk, we know we are walking. When we eat, we know we are eating.”
One Sunday morning I sat in my bed eating a muffin and sipping coffee. In mid sip I realized how unmindful I was being. Here I am a mindfulness expert and I am doing exactly the opposite of what I preach. The moment I became aware of what I was doing I became mindful of my eating.
Mindful eating or Conscious Eating as I like to call it, I believe it is a two-part process. The first part is mindfully choosing the food we put into the body. The second part is the process of eating a meal mindfully. Let’s look at both parts.
Part 1: Mindfully choosing to eat healthy
I by no means am talking about going on a diet. If that is something you want to do you can do that mindfully as well. I am talking about making decisions around what foods to eat. Eating whole foods, not processed is important. The morning I found myself in the middle of eating a muffin I realized how unmindful of a choice I had made. I had bought the muffin at a bakery while getting coffee when I was hungry. I did not take a mindful moment to remind myself that this was not the healthiest option for breakfast. I was lost in my hunger rather than being present in the moment. I recommend when you are making choices of what to eat pause for a moment. Take a few breathes and ask yourself if this choice is going to be the best option for you. Looking back at that Sunday morning in the bakery I am sure if I had taken a mindful moment I would not have bought the muffin.
You can also practice mindful eating with planning your meals and snacks each day. Meal planning and prepping helps when the day gets busy. You are able to be mindful of what the next meal or snack will be.
Part 2: Mindful Eating
The actual sitting down to eat. I am guilty of sitting in front of the computer or tv while eating. I have also been known to browse through social media while eating. The results of eating this way is I miss out on tasting my food and realizing when I am full leading to over eating. I recommend sitting down at a table clear of distractions. Allow yourself to be present in the moment. Enjoying the food on your plate, perhaps the people you are having a meal with. Become aware of how eating feels for you, making sure to not over eat, or rush eating.
If you feel you struggle with mindful eating and would like some help, let's talk. Send me an email.