6 Ways to Practice Mindful Eating
I can still remember the raisin from that first mindfulness class I took in a family friend’s basement office, almost twenty years ago. I myself was only 20 years old and that first awe-inspiring taste of that raisin onward, I was hooked on exploring mindfulness. I walked out of the basement promising myself I would eat every meal like I ate that raisin. Fast-forward just a few hours, and I as eating my dinner as mindlessly as ever. I have however kept up with a few mindful meals to myself each month, and been exploring ways to bring more mindfulness, informal mindfulness into daily life.
Eating as mindfully as we do on retreat or in a mindfulness course is not realistic for many of us, especially with families, jobs, and the myriad distractions around us. This is not to mention that our friends, family and colleagues might not have the patience to eat with us as we take five minutes with each bite. So have some self-compassion, and consider formal mindful eating on retreat and special occasions, as well as informal mindful eating in your daily life.
What I want to offer in this piece is what I call more mindful eating, perhaps “informal” mindful eating as opposed to formal mindful eating. Especially during the craziness and stress and extra food of the holidays, that Halloween to New Years stretch in which are more likely to eat mindlessly than mindfully. Here are six simple guidelines to keep in mind to discern between mindless and (more) mindful eating, and bring our bodies and minds back together.