[image by Jennifer May via NY Times]
After reading this article last night, I’ve tried to practice “mindful eating” several times, and man, it’s hard! Harder than doing 20 pull ups. Harder than running 6 miles. I’ve talked about the importance of enjoying your food a few times before, but what they are talking about in this article is on a whole other level that takes lots of patience and practice. Honestly, I hope that one day I’ll be able to eat like a Buddhist monk, but for now I’ll start with trying to chew my food more slowly.
TRY this: place a forkful of food in your mouth. It doesn’t matter what the food is, but make it something you love — let’s say it’s that first nibble from three hot, fragrant, perfectly cooked ravioli.
Now comes the hard part. Put the fork down. This could be a lot more challenging than you imagine, because that first bite was very good and another immediately beckons. You’re hungry.
Today’s experiment in eating, however, involves becoming aware of that reflexive urge to plow through your meal like Cookie Monster on a shortbread bender. Resist it. Leave the fork on the table. Chew slowly. Stop talking. Tune in to the texture of the pasta, the flavor of the cheese, the bright color of the sauce in the bowl, the aroma of the rising steam.
Continue this way throughout the course of a meal, and you’ll experience the third-eye-opening pleasures and frustrations of a practice known as mindful eating.
Do you think eating more slowly and thoughtfully could help with weight loss and healthier eating habits?