Mindful Eating: Make it a Feast

What did you eat for dinner last night? It would not be surprising if you didn't remember at first, I know I have to think about it for a minute.

But what if you ate your favorite food last night? Or if you ate with a group of your best friends? Then it may be easier to remember.

So what is the difference? When we eat our favorite food, we are mindful. We notice how amazing it tastes. We savor and enjoy eat bite and we are grateful for the food we have. We slow down and enjoy the meal.

So how can we bring those same feelings of enjoyment, presence, and gratitude to our daily meals? Here are a few helpful tips.

1.Put Your Phone Away

A 2018 study showed that people enjoyed a meal with their friends less when phones were present than when phones were put away. Additionally, just by having their phone on the table, people used it 11% more during the meal than people who put their phones away. An easy way to have a more enjoyable meal with your friend is to put the phone in your pocket or backpack, and wait until afterwards to check it.

2. Think About Where Your Food Comes From

A.J. Jacob's is an author who spent the last few years traveling around the world, trying to thank 1,000 people who contributed to his cup of coffee – everyone from the coffee bean farmers, to the delivery drivers, to the guy who invented the lid for his cup. You can listen to his TED talk here. It is amazing to think about how much goes into bringing food into our dining halls. You don't have to thank 1,000 people, but taking a moment to be grateful for your food might make your dining experience a bit richer.

3. Make it a feast

Sometimes I rush in and out of lower and just grab the quickest thing I can get. I think we can all agree that a quick $6 Odwalla is not a feast.

Making a meal a feast means taking the time to add salt, pepper, toast the bread, or add your favorite sauce. It means breaking bread (your perfectly toasted and buttered bread) with some of your close friends. Having good conversation and enjoying the moment, then taking time to sit and talk even after you finish the meal.

"All happiness depends upon a leisurely breakfast" - John Gunther

Not every meal can be a feast, but starting out with just one meal this week to put your phone away, be grateful, and enjoy a long meal might just prove to be a highlight of your day.

To learn more about your relationship with food, you can sign up for a free nutrition appointment with our nutritionist or group coaching session with our nutrition health coaches.

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