Today, we‘re giving you unconditional permission to play with your food, sort of. We’d like to invite you to join us in a Mindful Eating exercise. Tell me more you ask? Ever started a pack of Tim Tams in front of the TV only to realise half an hour later you’re down to the last one? It’s essentially the opposite of that. Mindful Eating is the practice of paying attention, on purpose and in the present moment when it comes to food. Being curious and really engrossing yourself in the food experience with all of your senses!
Let’s give it a crack, we’d love you to grab any food (a cracker, a sultana, a piece of chocolate) and follow along.
1. Put the food in the palm of your hand, look at it like you’ve never seen it before! Be curious, notice the shape, the colour, wrinkles, shiny, smooth, strange or interesting textures.
2. Notice how heavy it feels in your hand, feel of the outside against your finger, its texture and temperature.
3. Raise it to your nose and smell it, notice the aroma.
4. Raise it to your mouth and pause. Bring your attention to what is happening inside your mouth, notice if your salivating and your urge to eat.
5. Now slowly bite it in half and chew very slowly before swallowing. Notice the sensations and sounds, is it sweet, savoury, salty?
6. You can now swallow. Notice the movement in your throat and the sound that makes. Is there an urge to eat the remaining half? If so, then do it!
Have you ever eaten food like this before? Did you really appreciate the food afterwards? This is a bit exaggerated but imagine if we applied some of these principles to the way we eat every time?
We encourage you to try this with different types of food throughout your day, it’ a practice after all, the more you practice the better you’ll get at it. It will also help you create a bank of mindful eating experiences. These will come in handy for matching the sort of hunger your experiencing with the sort of food you feel like at the time.