Do You Mind?

There’s a lot of buzz about mindful eating, and for good reason. It helps us enjoy our food more and decrease how restricted we feel around food. Eating mindfully can also open our eyes when it comes to our eating habits. So what’s not to like?

Well, while the whole premise is to “pay attention to your food,” it doesn’t always feel that easy. On the surface, it makes sense, but what does it really mean? Thankfully, there’s a pretty easy way to start integrating mindful eating into our day, and it has to do with how we describe our food.

If you read any food magazines, watch cooking shows, or even read menus, you’ll often notice that they tend to describe recipes and the ingredients with a lot of vivid descriptions.

These descriptions make those meals come to life, and help you get a sense of what the meal will taste like. It’s the difference between reading about adding a sprinkle of ginger to apple-cinnamon oatmeal, and being able to picture the warmth and sharp notes it will add to the dish. When we can apply specific words to the food we’re enjoying, we can highlight what it is that makes the dish so delicious to us. And we don’t have to be as wordy and eloquent as a food blogger, either. 

The next time you want to eat mindfully, you can start by thinking of three words to describe your meal.

For instance, if you’re eating apple slices topped with peanut butter and cinnamon, you would take a bite and focus on what you’re tasting. Maybe the first three words that come to mind are: “Crisp, sweet, juicy,” or “Tart, creamy, spiced.” However you decide to describe it is up to you. Whichever words you chose are probably the qualities of that food that first stood out to you, and that’s why you enjoy it so much. If you need inspiration, you may find it helpful to watch a chef cooking online or on a cooking show or read a food magazine or newsletter.

There are a few other small ways to integrate mindful eating into your day, including:

  1. Pausing halfway through your meal to assess how hungry you are. If you’re still hungry, you can always eat a little more.
  2. Taking sips of your tea or coffee while paying full attention to the flavors and how you feel after you drink it.
  3. Noting how you feel after you’ve eaten. Are you energized or do you feel like you need to take a nap? Think about what foods you could eat that will make you feel your best.

Mindful eating truly can be one of the greatest ways to help us enjoy our food more, and we don’t have to overhaul our life to start doing it. Start small and see what else you can notice about your food!

Want to eat mindfully? We can help with that.