At first glance, the title of today’s blog might have thrown you for a loop. After all, doesn’t mindfulness mean to be in the moment, experiencing it for all it’s worth? Of course! Which is why sometimes it’s best to take the moment one piece at a time, as we do in Darla’s guided eating exercise at our healthy weight loss spa.
Do you smell your food? I mean, if someone is cooking onions and peppers across the house, it may pique your attention, but what about everyday meals? Most folks seem to take their noses for granted. If you concentrate, you can really tell how a dish will taste by sniffing it deeply.
And do you listen, to the sear of the chicken hitting a hot pan or grill, the crunch of a perfect leaf of romaine lettuce, the happy chomping as you indulge in your meal?
What about the mouth-feel? I bet if more people paid attention to this, greasy fried food would be far less popular.
I hope you eat with your eyes, too, as I’ve mentioned on quite a few occasions.
This brings me to my biggest suggestion for full enjoyment of flavor: Close your eyes. Lose yourself in your mouth as you enjoy a superb bite of sustenance. Shut out the world, be it a work or school cafeteria, busy restaurant, tv on in the other room, family being family, and just let yourself TASTE. Pick out the sweet, the sour, the salty, the bitter. Note how each ingredient in a dish has its own flavor, yet contributes to the overall effect. You’ll be surprised what you learn about the food you’ve been eating all your life.
By closing your eyes and practicing truly tasting your food, you will likely slow down, increase enjoyment, and become a more intuitive cook yourself.
So take a deep breath, take a good bite, and take the world out of the equation. When it’s time to eat, it is time for YOU.