Have you ever noticed that all of our senses are active in the process of eating? If you have not, then you may appreciate the following exercise:
First, look at the food.
Notice its texture.
Notice its color.
Before you eat, explore this food with your sense of smell. What do you notice?
Next, take a bite of food and close your eyes, and explore the food with your sense of touch by using your tongue and mouth. What does this food feel like/what is it’s texture? Is it hard or soft? Grainy or sticky? Moist or dry?
Let go of thinking, and move into noticing different aspects of your experience, using one sense at a time.
This is what it means to eat mindfully.
Please chew very slowly, noticing the actual sensory experience of chewing and tasting. Notice the sound created while chewing. Notice if the intensity of its flavor changes, moment to moment.
Take about 20 more seconds to very slowly finish this first bite of food, being aware of the simple sensations of chewing and tasting. It isn’t always necessary to eat slowly in order to eat with mindfulness. But it’s helpful at first to slow down, in order to be as mindful as you can.
Continue to eat, chew very slowly, while paying close attention to the actual sensory experience of eating: the sensations and movements of chewing, the flavor of the food as it changes, and the sensations of swallowing. Just pay attention, moment by moment. Note how you feel before eating the food, during eating and after eating.
Enjoy and stay curious!