We all eat. Most of us are hopefully eating a few times throughout the day. But are you thinking while you’re eating? What I mean is, do you intentionally put mindful energy in your eating/digestion process? If I haven’t lost you yet, please consider the following points, and then follow the next four steps to embrace “Conscious Eating” as part of your daily rituals.
*When you eat, whether you’re chewing something fresh and from the earth, or something out of a wrapper or can, you are consuming energy. Your body will use that “energy” as fuel for your body, hopefully efficiently, or some of that “energy” will be expended quickly and the excess will be stored as fat. (Deciphering “filling” vs. “fueling” foods is another topic altogether….)*When you eat, your environment in which you are eating, has “energy” surrounding it. Whether you’re in front of a computer, a TV, at a sidewalk cafe, in your car, or at a table, you’re surrounded by energy: sound, light, smell, crowds, etc.*Lastly, your body requires “energy” from your digestive enzymes, your digestive system, your liver, your entire body, to break down your food and digest it so it can be used efficiently and make you healthier, ideally giving you more “energy”!*The more stressful, rushed, synthetic your food choice and even the manner in which you consume, including your environment can affect the entire digestive process.Think about the above points: don’t you want the best possible chance at breaking down your meals and having them utilized in the body to the best ability, making you stronger, leaner, wiser and more comfortable. It is my opinion that most people suffering digesting unrest (heartburn, gas, bloating, etc.) are not conscious eaters, but eaters on-the-go, stressed-out, and gulping down their food.Follow these simple steps to have a more peaceful and efficient handle on your own digestion. I challenge you to do this for 3 days in a row at every single meal. It may surprise you how challenging yet how rewarding it can be to consciously eat!1. Chew. We are not chewing our food slowly enough, or thoroughly enough. Take smaller bites, and chew every morsel of food until you cannot chew it anymore–until it’s unrecognizable, before you swallow.2. Rest between bites. It’s a great practice to put your utensil (fork) down at least between every two bites. Simply rest–even a few seconds, between every two bites.3. Choose silence or comfort over function. Eat in a comfortable surrounding, with people you like and admire, or by yourself. If you’re in a loud place, or with negative people, you are absorbing all that interference, which causes stress, which hinders digestion.4. Highly present– not high tech. Try your hardest not to eat in front of television, facebook, emails, even smart phones. I’m guilty of this too, but we are bombarded with enough cellular data, bad news, gossip, etc. as it is–keep it away from your brain as you eat so your belly doesn’t take on that energy.
Happy “mindful” eating!