The best way to enjoy food is mindfully. It means listening to your body and making conscious decisions on what, how and when to eat.
I’m going to walk through the steps of treat-buying and eating – with chocolate as an example – and how mindfulness is inherent in each step.
1. Which treat do I really truly want?
What would be a nice treat to yourself, and will you feel satisfied after you eat it? Make sure you’re not just grabbing whatever is on sale.
2. What is the impact on this chocolate on other people?
Unfortunately, chocolate growers are often have poor working conditions. It’s this kind of thing that can really destroy the enjoyment of chocolate. If you’ve not heard of Fairtrade, now is a good time to read a little about it (this link is handy). It’s a way to guarantee that the people who made your chocolate were paid well and had good conditions. There are also lots of other great benefits, such as promoting sustainable practice, education, and climate change protection. So when you’re choosing your chocolate, look out for the fairtrade symbol.
3. Am I hungry and do I really want this chocolate now?
How much do I want? Get that much out and put the rest away. You can always go back if you want a little more, but often we just mindlessly eat straight out of the box.
4. Eat the chocolate.
Savour every aspect – the unwrapping of the chocolate, the smell, the way it melts a little on your hands, the first bite, the feel on your tongue.
5. Keeping checking back with yourself to see if you want to keep eating.
Am I still hungry? Is this still as delicious as it was at the start? Would I prefer to stop and have some more later? Stop eating when you feel satisfied, and think of what a nice treat that was for yourself.
I hope you had a lovely long weekend, and that you will enjoy your next treat to yourself.
The Center for Mindful Eating: In order to eat mindfully:
- Choose food that is delicious and nutritious.
- Be aware of your hunger and satiety and choose when to eat and when to stop.
- Be aware of every moment and aspect of the food. Really enjoy it.
- Be aware of the connection of earth, living beings, and the impact food choices have.