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Stop and eat: here’s an exercise to learn how to eat mindfully

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Mealtime is definitely one of the most important times of our day. Not only to gain the energy our bodies need but also and especially to take a break, alone or with company, in a long and tiring day spent at work or studying. It happens, however, that often, caught up in hurry and a thousand commitments, we do not give proper importance to the moment we are living and consume the meal without savoring the dishes in the best possible way and without pausing to enjoy each bite, thinking not about the present but projecting ourselves into the future, already thinking about the things to do after the meal. Instead, we should ask ourselves very important questions such as: What is the dish in front of me ? Where am I right now? Where do you find the beauty of colors in dishes? What about the flavors?

Precisely to address this situation, Dr. Marilù Mengoni, a nutritional biologist and psychologist, has devised an exercise with which to regain awareness of what you are doing during meals. Let’s find out what this is all about.

The exercise

The first thing to do is to carefully set the table, whether we are alone or in company, and in the latter case we need to do this exercise together , possibly in silence. It is important not to leave out any details as pleasure at the table also comes through sight. But let’s try to understand what it might mean

Mindful eating

When everything is ready and the dish is already on the table, sit quietly and take deep breaths letting the scent of what you are about to eat wash over you. Repeat this 4 to 5 times and then gently pick up the cutlery (whether fork or spoon does not matter). Pay attention to every single movement of your hand, “feel” the weight and texture of the mail before taking the first portion of food from the plate. At this point bring a small bite to your mouth, place the cutlery on the table, and begin to slowly savor and chew your food. Get overwhelmed by the flavors and textures on your plate, focus on each portion of food in your mouth, and swallow slowly.

Proceed in this manner bite by bite (resting the cutlery on the table each time) until your plate is empty. Now that your meal is finished stop for a second. Smile at the other people at the table or at yourself if you are eating alone, and reflect on the moment just past and how the food you just ingested is becoming a part of your body. To quote Dr. Mengoni’s words, “There is the now, and right here is the body, there are emotions, pleasure. And so over time once you re-establish this contact, you will also know how much food you really need, you will be able to better translate the signals that your body is sending you. Regaining your fitness weight (and maintaining it over time) will be a natural thing, because you will have re-established that dialogue with your body and will again be able to understand your body’s vocabulary and take in its messages.”

SOURCE: Crudostyle

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