“The point is simply to eat,
as opposed to eating and talking, eating and watching TV,
or eating and watching TV and gossiping on the phone while Tweeting and updating one’s Facebook status.”
Did you catch this article in the NY Times? I thought it was brilliant.
Personally, I spent years (…YEARS!) eating while reading blogs or books, watching TV, writing in my journal or thinking about … well, anything other than the food I was eating.
And now that I’ve stopped (well, most of the time), the enjoyment I get from eating is so much more.
The biggest change is that I eat slower. A lot slower. I’m not just mindlessly shoveling it in and forgetting to chew. Because I eat slower, my digestion is better (I never would have believed that until I tried it myself.)
Also, I eat less. Probably because I’m eating slower, and it takes 20 minutes for the stomach to tell the brain that it’s full. It’s also probably because I am noticing my stomach feeling fuller, instead of racing to finish my plate.
There are a few downsides to mindful eating though. I eat slower, which can be annoying when I’m with a group and always the last to finish. Also, when you eat mindfully, you taste your food a lot more! So cheap, fake, processed food tastes … well, not good! It makes you a bit pickier about what you’re eating (although this is probably good for your body in the long run!)
Sometimes I catch myself racing through a meal, or lost in thought, or unable to put down my iPad, and I try to remember to stop. I take a breath, and focus on what I’m eating and who I’m with.
Mindful eating is such a classic bit of wisdom. Grandma would approve. Food-centric cultures like the French, Italians and Spanish would approve. It just makes sense that we should pay attention when fueling our bodies.
And in our jam-packed, overbooked lives, mindful eating makes your lunch break feel, well, like a break. Which we could all use more of these days.
What do you think about the NY Times article and mindful eating in general? Have you tried it? How do you remind yourself to stay present?