Photo Credit: brooke lark
Hello and welcome to week 4’s mindful practice. . This weeks practice is designed to be added to the previous weeks mindfulness practices, but especially links to last weeks tastefulness practice.
This week’s exercise is
One of the things that each and every one of us do each day is to eat food. For many it is one of life’s greatest pleasures, though it is a process that that can easily become an unmindful process.
The tongue is a remarkable muscular organ which has thousands of taste buds all over it. Each and every one of those taste buds has between 50-150 taste receptors, that’s a whole lot of tasting! However in a world of take away and fast food and rather limited lunch breaks this process has simply become another task, a rushed process, accompanied by thoughts of our to do lists or screen time and many other interfaces from the mind. The only time we really raise our meal time awareness is when we go out for a meal. We make an effort for it from putting on our nicest clothes to giving it some of our time. Often the experience of spending it with a partner, children, family or friends makes the meal time even more joyous. This is why it’s such a popular pass time as the memories created are often filled with both love and food.
Eating is a process that fuels our engines, it’s in our DNA and one that if you are mindful about will taste even better if you can spare it a thought now and then.
- Choose your most peaceful meal or snack time of the day.
- Sit with your food and simply look at for a minute. Look at the colours and the textures and envy thing else that may be present for example the steam round rising from a warm bowl of soup.
- Next smell, use your wonderful now to work your olfactory glands sending messages into the brain about the component smells that make up your dish. This could be sweet, savory, spicy, citrusy or umami. Our sense of smell helps us to taste our food so this is a really important step to eating more mindfully.
- Next taste your food. Give yourself time to chew your food or to allow it to sit on the tongue (depending on your chosen dish – for example chocolate can be eaten this way to allow it to melt and release all of its flavours) feel the textures and the heat. Most of all give yourself time to enjoy.
- You may find that your food tastes completely different as it’s not seasoned with a TV show, scrolling on a phone or in the pages of a magazine to disguise its flavours it simply is there to be enjoyed with full attention. I found it really interesting to do this with different meals or snacks during the day. It is particularly interesting to try it if you have the same meal each day for example the same breakfast cereal and see if you find it tastes different. It often happens with very sweet products you acutely raise your awareness, and they taste too sweet.
Give it a go and see what you find.
Here’s to a week of glorious mindful eating enjoy!!!
Zoe Lou x