Day 5 – Make Eating as Pleasurable as Possible!

For more info on the 28 Days please go here https://wordpress.com/post/catherinestrang.com/1455 Today’s post takes 2 minutes to read and the action needn’t take any extra time, just awareness.

Did anyone get chocolates today? If no chocolates were received from another perhaps lovingly treat yourself to your favourites! Today’s post is about mindful eating, about slowing down and noticing what you are eating, taste, texture, smell and sight; not in a this is another exercise to do manner but with the genuine desire to fully engage the senses and enjoy your food. I think it’s fair to say that most of us eat mindlessly much of the time, distracted either by what we are watching, reading or from being caught up in conversation. With this inattention we can end up eating too much, ignore signs of digestive discomfort and even find ourselves eating lifeless, highly processed food as we don’t notice the taste, texture or how it makes us feel.

So the main suggestion for today is not just to notice but most of all enjoy whatever you are eating, eat more slowly, take smaller mouthfuls and chew for longer. Even if this is just for the first few mouthfuls of each meal you may find this healthier, enjoyable way of eating takes over.

The key points for mindful eating are:

Appetite – Start with a good appetite, but not ravenously hungry, people often eat out of habit or through emotional drivers when the body doesn’t actually want food so the first step is to begin actually noticing when you are or are not hungry. Also many people ignore signs of hunger leading to lowered mood and energy slumps.

Amount – Look at the amount of food you are putting on your plate? How do you feel afterwards? If overeating is a problem, then eating just a little bit less each meal is a painless way to make a life long change. Also, take smaller mouthfuls and put down utensils between bites.

Appreciate – Before eating that first mouthful pause for a few seconds and direct a few words of gratitude towards your food. All that it has taken to reach your plate; silently give thanks for the opportunity to enjoy this food, for any companions you’re enjoying it with and for the nutrition it is bringing to your body. The practice of this does has an impact on the food and on your body, it also induces a feeling of calm before you eat which in turn aids digestion.

Sensory awareness – Throughout the preparation, cooking and serving to the actual eating notice the colours, shapes, aromas, texture, sounds and tastes of all you eat and drink. Perhaps even see how many different flavours you can detect in the food. With the visuals perhaps also pay attention to how the food is served, get creative, dine on beautiful crockery and with pretty napkins, light a candle, how special can you make the serving of food and by doing so making yourself feel special.

Slow down – Chew each mouthful well and slow down when you eat, all of the above will slow down the time taken to eat and your body will thank you for this with better digestion and general health. Through the slowing down, practice of gratitude, adding beauty to the dining experience you are bringing in a sense of peaceful well-being that will linger long after you have eaten.

There is of course a wealth of information about mindful eating and I have tried to keep today’s post as brief as possible. So today’s suggestion is just to bring a little more awareness to your food, as mentioned even just the first two mouthfuls can make a difference. Enjoy your meal and I hope you sleep well and peacefully tonight.

Published by Catherine Strang

I have been passionate about health and well-being since my teenage years when a health problem prompted me to use diet to regain my strength. By the end of the 80's I was working as a chef in a Rudolf Steiner based vegetarian cafe in Edinburgh and this led me (through working with some very alternatives types!) to pursue a career as a massage therapist and healer, which I began in 1990. Since then I have trained in many different forms of therapy, including Hypnotherapy, EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques), NLP (Neurolinguistic Programming), EmoTrance (a form of deeply mindful emotional processing). I retired completely from bodywork in 2017 and at present only occasionally work as a 1:1 therapist. My focus now is teaching and I have been doing this since 1991 when I taught Aromatherapy and massage courses for the Edinburgh Council Adult Education Programme, by the time I finished these courses in 2000 I had also taught aromatherapy/massage sessions across Edinburgh in Community Centers, Health Projects and a variety of other non profit organisations. By this time however I was beginning to develop Stress Management and later Meditation and personal development courses/sessions and was including corporate settings as well as private teaching events. The list of places I have taught in is extensive and over the past three decades I've no doubt forgotten quite a few! I am dedicated to personal development, health and meditation and bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to each session. I am well aware of the struggles, often hidden from work colleagues, that many go through during the course of their life and endeavor always to be kind, non-intrusive and in a work setting discreet.

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