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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:

    1. Put a bite of food on a fork, spoon or between your fingers.
    2. Look at it. Notice its colors and textures.
    3. Bring it to your nose and sniff. Notice its scent.
    4. Touch it to your lips. Feel its texture.
    5. Place it in your mouth, but don’t chew. Feel it. Roll it over your tongue.
    6. Now, bite into it.  Notice its flavor.
    7. Chew it slowly, savoring the taste.
    8. When you are ready, swallow.
    9. If you like, eat the rest of the food one bite at a time savoring each bite.
    10. 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?

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