If you are like I was, you are in the habit of eating the same foods over and over again. You may have a few go-to breakfasts, some favorite lunches and dinner entrees. You probably have some must-have snacks.
The problem with having the same foods all the time is that such a routine can lead to mindless eating. You eat because it is there or allowed or easy. Becoming a mindful eater means really paying attention to your food choices and learning to enjoy a wide variety of tasty, satisfying and nutritious foods.
Next time you are in a market, buy a food item that you’ve never had before and think you may like. It can be a new piece of fruit or type of vegetable. It can be a prepared meal or fancy snack. When you are ready to eat it, take the food item to a location where you can eat it uninterrupted, and get comfortable. Turn off all electronics. Take a few deep breaths, and when you are ready, turn your attention to your food and do the following:
- Put a bite of food on a fork, spoon or between your fingers.
- Look at it. Notice its colors and textures.
- Bring it to your nose and sniff. Notice its scent.
- Touch it to your lips. Feel its texture.
- Place it in your mouth, but don’t chew. Feel it. Roll it over your tongue.
- Now, bite into it. Notice its flavor.
- Chew it slowly, savoring the taste.
- When you are ready, swallow.
- If you like, eat the rest of the food one bite at a time savoring each bite.
- Stop when you’ve had enough, it stops tasting good or is gone.
When you are finished, ask yourself, “is this a food I might like to add to my repertoire of food choices?” If yes, why yes? If no, why not?