“So, I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun.”Ecclesiastes 8:15
A Delicious Breakfast
Are you mindful about eating?
I was looking forward to a big breakfast. I fried two eggs and meat. I warmed up leftover potatoes. I buttered my toast, and I poured a glass of juice. I set the table with my silverware and napkin. It was ready.
And then I made a mistake. I grabbed my phone. And now my plate was empty. Did I even remember eating the delicious breakfast I made? How disappointing. I know better.
I got so involved reading my messages and social media, I didn’t pay any attention at all to my breakfast. As I looked at my empty plate, I vowed to do better. Putting down my phone is a good start.
Mindfulness is important in many areas of life. We may not think of it in relation to eating. How can we be more mindful when eating?
- Express gratitude and thanks for the meal.
- Think about how the meal is nourishing your body to keep it strong and healthy.
- Eat slowly.
- Chew food 32 or more times to help aid with digestion.
- Eat at a kitchen or dining table, not in front of the television.
- Put away distractions like your phone.
- When at work, refrain from eating at your desk. Take a break.
Benefits of Mindful Eating
Eating mindfully brings:
- Pleasure – Eating brings pleasure when we invite our senses to fully experience the presentation, the taste, the smell, and the texture. I’ve even said to myself at times, “My stomach is full, but my taste buds crave more.” That tells me I haven’t allowed my taste buds the full experience.
- Satisfaction – When we enjoy the experience, it sticks with us longer. Our stomachs are full, and our senses are full. There is no feeling of lack. We have satisfied our hunger. That is, after all, the point of eating. Paying attention during meals allow us to be satisfied.
- Moderation – When mindful, we eat more slowly giving our brains time to catch up, so we know when we are full. This helps us avoid overeating, which causes discomfort and unnecessary calories.
- Digestion – Experts tell us it is important to chew our food 32 or more times. If we aren’t paying attention, we are liable to chew fewer times than that. Chewing is important for digestion, fullness, and provides other health benefits. Digestion begins with saliva and stomach enzymes, as well as supports blood flow to the gut.
I took a picture. It reminded me that even though I had eaten, as clearly evidenced by the empty plate, I had missed an opportunity for pleasure. I enjoy eating. And when it is time to eat, I want to focus on the joy. Though we eat to satisfy our hunger and to nourish our bodies to be strong, we show gratitude when we take the time for pleasure in the food God has provided for us. I’m embracing the lesson to eat mindfully.