So often we eat mindlessly and without thought of what we are nourishing our bodies with. We cram our mouths with food while working on the computer, watching TV, or when we’re on the run. Maybe you even talk while chewing! The pleasure of nutritious eating lies in slowing down and fully experiencing all the elements of the food that you are feeding your body. Take some time to explore your sense during your next meal. Take a note of the differences in the way you body reacts to the food you just ate. Is there bloat, burning, edema creeping in? Do you feel sluggish or energetic? Watch your body and see how it interacts with the fuel you fed until the next meal. Maybe 3 hours after your meal check the physical reaction. The main thing is to have fun, learn something about the way you eat, and understand how your body is reacting to what your feeding it.
SIGHT. Look at your food and imagine you’re an alien. You just arrived on Earth and have never seen this food before on your plate. Look at it carefully. Can you see the water, the rain, and the sunlight within the food? Is it alive or dead? Does it have vibrant natural color? Is there a lot of one item or small portions of several different things?
SMELL. . As you start to get a bite on your fork. Take a moment and smell the aroma. Without naming the scent, does it smell earthy, greasy, spicy, sweet etc?
TOUCH. As you take EACH bite notice how the food feels on your tongue. Is it soft and silky smooth? Maybe its hard and crunchy full of water or maybe grease? Mindful take in the sensation it brings.
MOTION AND MOVEMENT. How is it that your hand knows how to move the food directly to your lips? As you bring the food up to your mouth, notice what happens next. The mouth receives the food. Nothing goes into the mouth without it being received. And who or what is doing the receiving? The tongue. Observe what the tongue does with it. How does it get the food between the teeth? It’s amazing that the tongue is so skilled, and that such a remarkable muscle can actually receive food and then know what to do with it every time.
TASTE. After becoming aware of the food in your mouth, start biting into it very slowly. Then begin to chew. Give all your attention to your mouth and take a few bites. Then stop to experience what’s happening. What’s happening is invariably an explosion of taste. Express what’s going on. Be really specific. What’s the experience? Is it sweet or sour or juicy? There are hundreds of words to describe the experience of tasting.
TEXTURE. As you chew, does the taste of the food change? What is the consistency? How many times did you chew it? At a certain point you’ll become aware of the texture of the food because the taste has mostly passed. If the texture causes aversion, you may want to swallow it, but try to keep it in your mouth.
SWALLOW. Don’t swallow it yet. Stay with the impatience and the inborn impulse to swallow. Then observe what’s involved in getting the food down to your stomach. When you detect the impulse to swallow, follow it down into the stomach, feel your whole body, and acknowledge that your body is receiving nurturing food right down to your gut.
This is just a mindful learning lesson for you to take a moment and see if the food you are eating is nourishing your body and making it feel energetic and content. Are you gracing your body with live crunchy food and partaking of it in a mindful way that slows down consumption.