Mindful Eating Task: Two nights a week set the table to create a new intention for your mid-week meal. Practice Mindful Eating for at least 5 minutes per night.
Purposely choose tableware, cutlery and napery, set the table with intention to create a space to share a meal, rather than rushing through it. Creating a formal table space is usually reserved for ‘special occasions’ and the chance to enjoy this intentional setting mid-week provides an opportunity to change a habit. Chewing, relishing the taste of the food, and enjoying every bite mindfully, is a chance to enjoy not only the meal but acts as a reminder, and pleasure sensation, of nourishing your body after a long day.
Challenge: The ability to eat mindfully and conduct a conversation with family may present a challenge. Perhaps set the task for all family members, or at least inform them of your new mindful eating intention. As you approach this task, it may seem as though your 5 minutes of mindful eating is being interrupted, and five minutes may feel like an uncomfortable 20 minutes! Don’t worry, this is normal. The key is persistence. Even if you manage 1 minute of mindful eating over two weeks and slowly increase the length of time, you will benefit from slowing down and enjoying this segment of time.
Benefits: Mindful eating addresses the eating race. Why are we all eating so fast? I know, everyone is ‘time poor', but find time to nourish and nurture yourself. Take it slow and stop scoffing your food down! The act of mindful eating may have an impact on reducing indigestion, reducing stress/emotional eating, and address poor health choices as a result.
Mindful eating offers an opportunity to slow down and focus, but also provides additional benefits for your digestion. Eating slowly, and chewing your food is the first step in the digestive process. The act of mastication mechanically prepares your food, while saliva contains enzymes; amylase to begin digestion of starch, and lingual lipase to begin digestion of lipids (fats).
Mindful eating may reconnect you to the pleasure of the meal, aid digestion, provide an opportunity to practice mindfulness and most of all - to enjoy and savour your food. Enjoy!