Hello everyone! I have had mindfulness at the forefront my mind lately, specifically in relation to food. I noticed after the holidays, I was being less mindful about what I was eating. I was making pretty good food choices, but not listening to the internal cues as to when enough is enough, regardless of how much might be left on my plate. It brought me back to when I was in yoga teacher training, when we were asked to take part in what were called yogi meals.
Yogi meals are a way to practice mindfulness while you are enjoying a meal. It’s an opportunity to really pay attention to how the food looks, tastes, smells and how it makes you feel. It’s also a way to practice portion control while being able to fully enjoy each bite. Lastly, it is a way to remind you that you need to slow down and enjoy the moment, and feel gratitude for what you have before you.
It begins with portion control. Give yourself a slightly smaller amount of everything, even when you are really hungry. It may look like you might still be a bit hungry at the end of the meal, but when you slow down, you have more of a chance to creep up on the sense of fullness without feeling stuffed at the end. Take the time to enjoy how the food looks and smells. Find yourself a quiet place to enjoy your meal without distractions like having a TV on, or listening to music. And, as weird as it may sound, refrain from conversation. We were taught to savor each bite and to put your fork down after each bite. The next step was to chew each bite 10 times before going for the next. It can definitely feel weird at first, especially if you are sharing a meal with a loved one. I remember sharing a meal with a fellow yoga student, and we would occasionally crack up from how awkward it was to not talk. This is definitely not something you’d want to do every day, but it is a great way to really appreciate how lucky you are to have access to healthy food and to savor every bite. We are fortunate to live in a part of the world where access to healthy food is widely available. We are also fortunate to enjoy our food without having to wonder when we may or may not be able to have access to the next one.
Our challenge was to enjoy 5 yogi meals over the course of a week, which was not easy! But if we take time occasionally slow ourselves down, we may be able to appreciate what we have in a whole new way.
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