Katina, founder of On Adulting, is teaching us how to practice mindful eating. Not sure what that means or how to get started? Read on!
Think back to your last meal, and try to remember what you were doing as you ate. Were you firing off a few emails? Scrolling through Facebook? Watching Chef’s Table? Scarfing down your last few bites before running off to a meeting?
If any (or all) of these scenarios sound familiar, you’re not alone. Sitting down to eat a meal when you’re truly present seems like it’s a luxury in our 24/7 world.
It may feel like taking an hour-long break for lunch, or enjoying a slow, delicious dinner is basically impossible these days. For a long time, I thought that I was just too dang busy to eat without multitasking, whether it was finishing a work project or scrolling through someone’s vacation pictures.
Eating more mindfully doesn’t just feel good, it’s actually scientifically proven to help us stay healthier too. And not only that, it’s more fun to soak in all the hard work you did to prepare, or purchase, your meal.
Here are some of my favorite, simple ways to shift my mindset towards mindful eating, without having to go on a meditation retreat first.
1. Chew your food!
I can only imagine my mom’s reaction to this piece of advice. It’s something she’s been telling me for years! I’m a notoriously quick eater, scarfing down a meal in minutes.
But, chewing your food, even taking it as far as to count each bite, helps bring your mind into the present moment. Experts say that you should chew each bite at least 30 times in order for it to register in your brain.
2. Place technology aside
When technology, whether it’s our phones, computers, or even a TV, is around, it’s almost impossible not to get distracted. About one-third of people around the world say that they can’t eat without their phones nearby. And, nearly 75% of people say they watch TV while eating.
Being conscious of this, dare I say, addiction is the first step. Try and challenge yourself to go tech-free for one meal and notice how refreshing it feels.
3. Sit at a table
It’s easy to find ourselves running from meetings to workouts to home and scarfing down a sandwich in between. Many of us are lucky enough to have food readily accessible that we can eat anywhere, anytime.
Those same quick fixes also stray us away from mindful eating. The beautiful connections made while eating around a table has got lost in the shuffle. So, try hosting a “family” dinner once per week, whatever that might look like for you. It doesn’t need to be fancy, just perfectly imperfect!
4. Savor each bite
This last, but important, part of eating mindfully is simple: enjoy every single part of it. Notice how your food looks, feels and tastes as you take each bite. Pay attention to the crunchiness of an apple, the zestiness of a lemon, or the earthiness of a piece of kale.
Eating mindfully is all about getting back to our roots. It’s about appreciating each meal, each bite, and connecting with our food as much as we can. Want to try it?