If you’re reading this now, it’s likely that you practice yoga poses diligently on your mat and maybe even cultivate presence on your meditation cushion. Even so, weaving what we learn in these spaces into day-to-day life can sometimes feel elusive. Fortunately, there are simple, easy, yet profound ways to bring mindfulness and presence to everyday endeavors—particularly our meals.
Mindful eating can completely change the way we interact with and feel about our meals. Food is a spiritual experience, and so your relationship to it should be one of respect, appreciation, and enjoyment. Healthy eating isn’t meant to make you feel unhappy. In fact, it should be the opposite: It should make you feel amazing and uplifted, and gives you the energy and vitality you need to be more and do more.
Try some or all of these mindful eating tips from Dr. Robert Kiltz, author of Living Your Best Life: How to Think, Eat, and Connect your Way to a Better Flow.
Say thank you for the food you have
You don’t have to be religious to say grace before a meal. Simply saying thank you for this abundant meal and respecting the source from which it came is an empowering way for you to connect to your food. Thank the farmers who grew your vegetables or raised your cattle. Think about everything that your food has gone through before arriving on your plate, and take a moment to appreciate and respect that process. Saying thank you will fill you with abundant joy and love and will make you feel a greater connection to the universe and your food.
Slow down while you eat
Take the time to chew and enjoy your meal. Sit down with it and allow your senses to take over. How does the meal smell, taste, and feel? Make mealtime a tactile experience and don’t rush to eat. Stay in the moment with your meal. If you find your thoughts drifting away from your meal or bouncing into the future with what you are going to do next, gently bring your focus back to the meal.