'When I eat, I eat; when I sleep, I sleep"

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'When I eat, I eat; when I sleep, I sleep"

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  orangeblossom 8 years, 8 months ago.

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  • The title of this post is a Zen saying. And that is what mindfulness is in a nutshell.
    I have read most of the posts under the mindfulness tag in this forum- but actually have not found a single mention of a mindful eating advice.

    Mindful eating the way I was taught can be summarised like this:

    Look at your food
    Observe the colours, the texture, the smells.
    When you pick up your fork or spoon, notice the intention of picking it up.
    Pay attention to your arm moving, to your finger grasping it, to the sensations arising at the touch of the fork (metal, cold, warm, smooth…)
    Notice the intention of picking up the food.
    Again notice the movements of your body while you do that.
    Smell the food, and when you bring it to your mouth taste it – feel the texture, the taste, chew slowly, notice the moment you intend to swallow.
    Notice how often the next forkful is ready to go into your mouth immediately after it has come out of it! When you become aware of this, place your fork on the plate. Wait until the first mouthful has been chewed and swallowed before picking up the fork again.
    While eating do not read, watch TV , text …

    If you find that your mind starts thinking or planning or worrying, bring your awareness back to the food.

    And going beyond mindfulness, here are more thoughts that are changing the way I personally relate to food – probably too slowly and I still find myself binging every so often – but I still would like to share it.
    Some posts have mentioned connectedness and how so many people have not enough food – and this something that reaches far beyond the act of eating mindfully: I think about the person that has prepared the food, about all the people that have made it possible for this food to arrive on my table, of the ones that have tilled the soil, planted the seed, watered and harvested, of the bees pollinating, the birds spreading seeds… I think of the person that harvested the rice I’m eating, and that maybe today they did not have a bowl of rice to put on their childrens table, and I’m grateful and saddened.

    “to see a world in a grain of sand…”

    I do wish I could take a full course true mindfulness but life is the way it is and I am where I am.

    One benefit of this mindfulness. The movement, the arrangement of the food on the plate, or the view of the soup in the bowl. The stillness and the activity of eating, lowering the fork or spoon between every bite. The texture of the food, the taste, can you actually taste the colours of your food, sometimes I think so. There is a greater calm after eating and a satisfaction that is new to my eating pattern.

    I’ve found that my way of cooking has changed in a very short 4 weeks. I no longer just throw together a meal. Spices, textures, colours, preparation and the cooking itself become something new each and every time.

    The hiss of onions in the skittle, the sudden noise of asparagus misted with olive oil and dusted with coarse sea salt and pepper as they come to rest on the hot grill.

    The vapors and scent of spiced shrimp on the hot BBQ, being sprayed with a bottle of beer.

    I appreciate my food more and those that I cook for are enjoying my new way of cooking more and I can cook smaller servings and everyone seems to be just as well fed and nourished. There is a rhythm and pulse to meals.

    This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a good quality hot dog though. Actually I can savior one now where before the hotdog was ingested.

    Interesting to read these posts.
    I have been using mindfulness eating techniques for about 2 years and lost a stone. Not much in terms of weight loss against my goal of 8 stones, but it has been a time of learning, healing and finding alternative ways to be kind to myself which do not involve destructive patterns of overeating and misusing alcohol.
    I started 5 2 about 6 weeks ago, and have lost another 10lbs. Feeling empowered, positive and much more content, yoga, swimming and walking too which is something I enjoy greatly.
    Three books are helping me too… Susie Orbach On Eating, Hairy Bikers diet book 1 and Florencia Clifford Zen cooking memoir, Feeding Orchids to the Slugs. The last one a life changing book. Good luck to you both. Hope things are going well for you, peace

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