What is Mindfulness Eating and What Are the Benefits?
After reading this very enlightening article by Ariel Harris, I truly understand the meaning of mindfulness eating and just how much we reap the benefits of it. She explains we should look at not only what we consume, but how we consume our food. Understanding that savoring, honoring and respecting our food to the fullest and “feeling grateful for the work someone put into giving its seed life” is important.
What are the benefits? One benefit is there is less chance of gaining weight. Why? Because we are not overeating by slowly savoring our food. This article includes additional weight-conscious benefits.
Read this fascinating article so that you, too, can be enlightened about mindfulness eating and how your weight can be positively affected by it.
MINDFULNESS EATING BENEFITS, THE CHOICE OF REALLY HONORING AND LOVING OUR FOOD – 10 Benefits
Guest Post – Ariel Harris
Many years ago, I was at a meditation retreat. As the first session began, a bowl of tangerines was being passed around. In my head I am thinking, eating before meditating? Hmmm. But since we all came as students, each one of us dutifully took a piece of fruit.
I have to say though, there were wondering looks exchanged.
The teacher held the fruit in her hands, gazing at it lovingly. She said, how many of us think to honor and savor the food we eat? Mindfulness eating is what we will be doing.
Have we ever taken the time to realize how beautiful each piece of food is? Look at this tangerine. The shape is lovely. The color is vibrant. Now smell the fruit. What do you smell? What do you feel when you smell the fruit?
THE CHOICE OF CONSCIOUS MINDFULNESS
Really? Wow, taking a moment to look and honor our food. A novel thought. A thought filled with conscious choice to savor each morsel and moment. I was beginning to see there was a definite motive here. Was this a metaphor for our lives?
She asked us to start peeling the fruit. And she said, do this slowly. Do not be in a rush. As you peel back each piece of skin, see the exposed fruit. Examine how it looks; see all the veins and color.
What do you smell as you peel each piece of skin?
With each piece of skin that was peeled a lovely fragrance filled our space. It felt like a gift. The fragrance was so fresh and invigorating. And slowly after the tangerine was peeled, we looked at the whole piece of fruit. Honoring, its beauty and fragrance.
Have you ever tried something like this?
The next step, once the fruit was totally free of skin, we were told to just separate one single segment of the tangerine. A tiny segment. And slowly, we were instructed that when we put it in our mouths, we were not to chew.
Instead, let the piece sit for a moment in our mouths. Feel the sense of the fruit being there. And let the anticipation of the flavor about to explode in our mouths linger.
Finally we were given the go ahead to chew. And the most magical thing happened. Not only did the juice squirt all over my mouth but this heightened awareness of what this gorgeous fruit really tasted like made me want to giggle.
It was as if I tasted a tangerine for the very first time. You know that sensation of a first time encounter? Well this was so heavenly good.
It had energy and juice and a vitality, that I had not ever before taken the time to fully enjoy. How could that be? How did I spend my entire life up to this point, just gobbling my food without honoring or savoring it?
And that set me off on a journey of conscious living. If I was not savoring my food, it meant I was also not savoring my life.
10 BENEFITS TO EATING MINDFULLY
So what are the benefits of mindful eating with heightened consciousness? Everything.
- We eat slower.
- We savor each moment.
- We eat less, because we allow our brains to catch up with our senses.
- We find eating to be a more joyful expression of daily life.
- When we make the choice to eat in mindfulness, it also flows into all parts of our lives.
- We allow our digestion to ease.
- Eating mindfully paves the way to honor our food.
- Heightened consciousness means we are in a state of now, which means less stress and anxiety.
- There is less chance of gaining weight, because we are not overeating or eating absently.
- Eating mindfully means we are living in respect and gratitude.
So are we willing to try savoring our food and our lives?
Try this meditation and let me know how it works, in your world.
Find a comfortable place to sit.
Take a few breaths and release them.
Feel your body relax.
Close your eyes.
Now imagine you are sitting at a table and your favorite meal was just served.
You are delighted to see this food.
Before you can even pick up a fork, look deeply at the plate. What do you see?
Notice the colors, the way the food is arranged, the way you feel looking at the food.
Now slowly pick up your fork and take a small mouthful of food.
Imagine how the taste is filling your senses. Feel your body being happy at this moment.
This heightened awareness is how we want to live with our food and our daily lives.
So take a deep breath and soak in the deliciousness of the mouthful.
Savor the imagined taste.
Take another deep breath. And release. And take another breath.
Now move away from the position of being at the table.
Feel yourself standing, (if you can,) and remember the taste of the food.
This perceived joy is something you can always keep with you.
Release your breath. Open your eyes.
How do you feel?
Gratitude? Respectful? More mindful? Relaxed?
I really want to hear what your reaction has been.
In this moment we have learned the joy of mindful eating. It is the path to letting ourselves go forward in our growth of gratitude and joy.
In the below video, Thich Nhat Hahn is talking about mindful eating and he really shows the joy of mindfulness eating.
I am truly inspired by how he talks about that with each piece of food we can feel the sun, the rain, the work someone put into giving its seed life. How much more grateful could we be?
To me, mindful eating is the path to enhancing our conscious living by seeing our choices as a way to fundamentally uplift and make joy be our mainstay. For in this moment of savoring our food, we honor and respect the gift of the food. We honor the way it was grown. And we honor our bodies by not rushing the food into our systems. We are truly nourishing simultaneously our bodies and our hearts.
I wish you a great journey of mindfulness eating. It might seem a bit awkward at first. But once we truly accept how it will change our outlook, it will become second nature to us.
How do you see yourself participating in mindful eating? Is this something you might try?
I would really like to hear what your experiences are, and how it feels to eat in full mindfulness.
In peace and gratitude,
Founder Success-full-living.com, one heart-centric moment at a time!
About the Author, Ariel Harris
Hello, I am Ariel. After a long illness, I taught myself how to walk again. So here I am jumping into vibrancy. I am an artist, writer and believer in the positive, and a grandmother. My belief in the Yes We Can mindset, has opened the gates to living in possibility.
I live my life co-creating with the universe, rich in love, compassion, grace and consciousness. Knowing, that we are all connected and willing to be of service, is a source of great peace and joy.
P.S. While my own children are now grown and I am a grandmother, I have read a wonderful article Ariel Harris has collaborated with Lauren Kinghorn called “Food for the Body and Soul of our Kids – Conscious Eating”. I am sure you will find it just as amazing.
Please visit: https://inspiringmompreneurs.com/what-is-healthy-eating-for-kids to read this fascinating and inspiring article!