Take a few breaths and center yourself before you begin eating. Check your belly and ask yourself, “Am I hungry?” Settling down will help you slow down and give eating your full attention. Be curious. Use your senses and re-discover the colors, the textures, the aromas. Appreciate. Smell. Feel the temperature of the food. Now, taste it. Move slowly, bite by bite. Put your fork down between bites and be conscious of all the different sensations you are experiencing. Treat this food as if you were savoring it for the first time in your life. Eat this food as if you’ve never eaten it before, because, actually, you’ve never eaten this one before.
Be mindful of mental images, memories, and fantasies while you eat. Since mind-wandering is inevitable, you may direct it to imagine the seed, the soil, the sun, the rain, the people involved in producing and distributing, and the journey this food has made to arrive at your table. But come back, as much as possible, to the here-now, paying attention to this moment and mindfully eating this food in front of you, this food in your mouth.
Detect any expectation. Slowing down is extra important in this process. Stay with this bite, without anticipating the next one. Chew it thoroughly. Staying with this bite is staying in the present moment. Staying with this bite is practicing mindfulness, and mindful living. If we keep thinking about what we will be eating next while we still have food in our mouths, we are not in the present moment; we are not fully connected with the food that we are eating. Also, since it takes time for the brain to register that we have already eaten enough, if we eat too fast, we either eat too much, or we finish the meal and still feel hungry. Eating fast is conducive to over-eating. So, let’s slow down, and savor this one bite because slow eating is the best for our health.
I recently learned Lynn Rossy’s acronym BASICS, a great reminder of mindful eating.
B – Breathe and Belly check
A – Assess your food
S – Slow down
I – Investigate your hunger throughout your meal
C – Chew your food
S – Savor your food
For more on Mindful Eating, check these two mindful eating programs:
I found the initial part of these instructions for Mindful Eating in little informational cubes placed on the dining hall tables of the Omega Institute, in Rhinebeck, NY.
Piero Falci is an author and educator who believes that the inner work that leads to personal awakening and transformation is indispensable to create a wholesome world. He is an explorer of the mysteries of life who loves to observe, reflect and write, and who not only aspires to live a life that matters, but also hopes to inspire others to do the same. He is a promoter of peace who believes in advancing the idea that Heaven is here if we want it to be. He teaches Mindfulness Meditation and Mindful Living, and the acclaimed Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program as taught at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He leads mindfulness silent retreats and organizes Silent Peace Walks. He lives in Florida, USA. Join his Mindfulness Meditation and Mindfulness Living sessions at Yoga Source in Coral Springs (Sundays at 9:00 AM) and at Shiwa Yoga in Deerfield Beach (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:30 AM)
Take a look at these books at the Peaceful Ways online store
– “Peaceful Ways – The Power of Making Your Wishes Come True”
– “Pay Attention! Be Alert! Discovering Your Route to Happiness”
– “Silent Peace Walk”