As I am writing this blog my two gorgeous girls are sitting at the bench enjoying a snack. My little one, two years old, is going at it a million miles an hour. Apple is being stuffed into her mouth, there’s fidgeting and arms flailing around whilst she tries to share a story. Her mouth is certainly finding it hard to keep up with her thoughts.
In stark contrast my five year old is eating slowly and deliberately, concentrating on each mouthful. This is quite intentional, and in fact she loves to tell me when she is ‘eating mindfully like the Monks’. The Monks she is referring to are the Gyuto Monks who visited Australia last year. I took Siarra to one of their workshops on ‘Mindful Eating’. Since that workshop she has noticeably slowed down her eating and become more focused.
What is Mindful Eating?
Mindful eating is the process of taking the time to listen to what your body is telling you about hunger and food satisfaction. In this day and age when everything is done at a squillion miles an hour, we must bring intention to our eating. We need to pay attention to how food makes us feel both during and after a meal. By doing so, we are able to develop a happier, healthier, more conscious and deliberate relationship with food. Not to mention allowing us to enjoy what we are eating ten fold!
It is actually incredibly easy and quite enjoyable. Next time you are having a meal take the time to sit down and actually experience your meal. Touch your food, smell your food, feel the food in your mouth and actually experience what it tastes like in your mouth. And if a whole meal sounds too much for this then you can always start with something more manageable – for one minute or fifteen mouthfuls for example.
Why not try this with a scoop of gelato? Experience the way it melts in your mouth, how it smells, it’s texture and creaminess. It is the perfect afternoon sweet treat to practice mindful eating with the kids.
Lynette Carroll Bolton is a television and radio presenter, wedding and events planner, wellness entrepreneur and blogger and most importantly mumma to beautiful Siarra and Piper!
Photography by Lynette Carroll Bolton.