Mindful Eating Practice

The practice of Mindful Eating gives us an opportunity to satisfy and nourish our  body, pay attention to our hunger cues, cravings, sensations, and bring a new dimension to just eating or drinking as it is.  With each meal, we take pleasure in eating and drinking. It’s an important practice. We practice stopping eating when feeling satisfied and this is easier when eating mindfully.

When we eat mindfully it’s a meditation practice in itself. We reflect and acknowledge the importance of eating meditation practice in our daily lives.  Once we do that reflection, it is helpful to write it down and remember why we wish to practice mindful eating.

For example you can write this down and put on your refrigerator or in your lunch bag or another place where you will be reminded of the intention

  • I take this opportunity to really enjoy and honor this food and drink.
  • I am grateful for all that was done in order for me to eat and drink this food.
  • I dedicate at least 5 minutes to mindful eating because this is how I feed my body and my spirit.
  • I become satisfied when eating mindfully, since I take the time to be with the present moment while eating.
  • Practices and methods that can be helpful in cultivating the practice of mindful eating.

 

        • Take 5 minutes and eat one raisin or one almond mindfully as a meditation practice. Increase the time to 10, 15, 30m
        • When eating, just eat. When cooking, just cook. Give it 100%
        • Schedule eating time during lunch or dinner and just eat without distractions.
        • Family dinner time is a time to socialize and to be present with our families.  We practice a careful balance of socializing only when not actively eating or drinking.
        • When we are eating, we are mindful of the food we are eating, not talking, but focusing on the food. After chewing and swallowing the food or drink we can shift our attention to the others and putting our utensils down while we chat and listen.
        • We practice eating with our full attention, noticing the food and surroundings
        • Make eating a special occasion, adding flowers or nice candles is a nice touch to note the importance of this activity, making it special for self

 

  • Practices before we start the meal

 

          • Say thank you for this food, everyone who made contributions, the earth and all causes and conditions for me to be alive to experience this food – this food is a blessing.
          • Recognize that having this food is a precious gift, and not all people have access to food today, especially this special unique food in front of us.
          • Have the Intention, that all beings have access to food like I am about to eat.
          • Bow to the food as a recognition and respect for all of the above.
          • Recognize that eating mindfully is a gift we give to ourselves. We deserve to eat this food with gratitude and in full awareness to honor it.
          • When we prepare the food, we take time to be grateful for ourselves – time put into food prep by making it special
          • Give ourselves permission to take the time to eat without distractions.
            • Be present /  Be grateful
            • If we are not taking this time to eat, we are taking the whole experience for granted, eating  the emails, the conversations, the news, etc…
          • Do not eat snacks while cooking – we can’t actually do both.  Tasting is ok.

 

  • Practice during meals

 

        • Notice texture, smell, color, taste, changing of taste, salivation, teeth, cheeks, tongue, breathing, muscles relaxed or tight, jaw, plate color, texture, material, temperature, desire for food arising, hunger cues, sensations of body, mouth.
        • When we reach for the next piece of food, does the tongue automatically push food down in preparation for the next bite? Notice it.
        • To help with mindful eating, put down the utensils until after all food is chewed and swallowed. Pick em back up mindfully.
        • Stop eating when feeling satisfied ( no longer feeling hunger )
        • Notice thoughts or ideas about the food we eat
          • Is there guilt? Do we need to finish the food because throwing it out is wasteful? Is that true?  If we do throw out food, it’s an opportunity to learn from the karma of taking too much. Were we being greedy when serving?
          • Let it go, accept, and bring kindness to self for whatever we are feeling.  
        • Do Not do other things during eating. That is honoring the food that we or another person just prepared for us, as well as honoring karma of this food.  
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