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8 steps to enjoying food mindfully

8 steps to enjoying food mindfully By Lesh Karan, The Mindful Foodie If this concept of eating mindfully is new to you, I suggest working with just one step at a time, at least ...

8 steps to enjoying food mindfully

8 steps to enjoying food mindfully

By Lesh Karan, The Mindful Foodie

If this concept of eating mindfully is new to you, I suggest working with just one step at a time, at least one to two times per week.

These steps don’t just apply to your main meals, but also to every single thing that you eat –even if it’s just one cashew nut. When you eat mindfully (that is, when you pay conscious attention to your action of eating), you will soon notice a difference to how often, how much and what you eat.

My recommendation for the first step is to eat at the dining table with the TV off and your phone in the other room on silent.

Overall, just do the best you can to pay more attention to your food. You will soon notice a difference.

1. Create an ambiance for your eating experience

It doesn’t need to be fancy. Just make sure you have a comfortable and clean place to sit down and eat, preferably at a table.

If you like, light some unscented candles (scented candles will interfere with the smell of your food), sit outside if it’s warm enough or play some soft background music.

2. Remove distractions

Avoid any fast-paced or loud music, gadgets or reading. Even if you cannot see the TV from where you are, make sure it’s turned off as the sound is distracting. Put your phone on silent, too.

3. Unclutter your eating space

If you have any books, papers, toys, computers or phones on the table, place them somewhere else for the time being. Move anything away that contracts your eating space.

4. Look at your food

Before you eat, take a couple of seconds to admire the colours on your plate and to smell the aromas. Get your digestive juices ready!

5. Chew thoroughly

Take time to chew each mouthful thoroughly, and swallow fully before you take the next mouthful. If it helps you to slow down, place your fork on your plate between each mouthful.

6. Savour the flavours and textures

As you chew, savour the textures and flavours. If you’re eating with children, you may like to play the game ‘guess what’s in your food’ to help them pay attention to what they’re eating and learn about food and cooking.

7. Breathe

It helps you to be calm, which helps you to digest your food. Eating while stressed equals a bloated tummy.

8. Give thanks

At the end of your meal (or beginning, if you prefer), pause and give appreciation for the food you ate and the people who grew or made it.

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This is an excerpt from Lesh's eBook, Nourished.

Lesh is an educator, writer and former practising pharmacist. A diagnosis of endometriosis in 2009 led her to create The Mindful Foodie. Lesh draws upon her knowledge, research, and professional and personal experience to educate others on eating (and living) through her recipes, articles, ebooks and courses.