What did you have for breakfast? Did you like it? What flavors and spices stood out to you? What about smell? Did your food smell good? Inviting? Appetizing? Did you really even notice you were eating?
The second tip for mindful eating is to put your fork down between each bite. Focus on chewing your food, tasting all the flavors. How do the flavors change as you chew? How does the food feel in your mouth?
I’ve watched my dog, Jack, eat treats. If they are small enough, he doesn’t even chew, he just swallows them whole. I laugh and remind him that he might enjoy the treat more if he tasted it instead of just swallowing it. But, you know, he’s a dog, so he doesn’t care.
But consider this-how much time and effort do you put into preparing a meal, especially one like Thanksgiving, then it’s over in 10 minutes? Everyone gets up, talks about how full they are. Who really tasted the food? Who savored and enjoyed it?
How would your food choices change if you tasted the food, chewed it well, thought about the flavors? Would that fast food hamburger still taste as good? Would a hamburger made at home with your own seasonings and condiments taste a little better?
Try this exercise: pick a meal time that you will be unhurried, set your meal on the table, take one bite, then put your fork down, your hands in your lap and chew the bite. Do this with each bite. How was this eating experience different? Did it change your enjoyment of your meal?