It is so easy to eat without much thought as to what we put into our bodies. But, as I reach for something on the go or hurry through a meal, it’s worth a few moments to regard what I eat in relation to my spiritual journey. It’s not about feeling guilty or bad about ourselves when I make less than great choices, but rather to acknowledging a deeper truth that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit, and adopting practices that remind me of that. By keeping our bodies healthy we ultimately benefit all beings.
- Assess your hunger before you eat by asking yourself, “How hungry am I right now?” Aim for being somewhat hungry, but not yet starving.
- Slowing down as we eat helps us catch up with the chemicals that register “I’m full” in our brains. Apparently, this can take up to 20 minutes!
- Make time for meals. Eating on the run is often done quickly and it’s hard to enjoy a meal this way. Sit down at a table, use a plate.
- Avoid distractions like the TV, phone, or work. Remind yourself that you’re taking time to focus and enjoy your food.
- Take small bites and chew slowly. Stop eating when you’re slightly full or satisfied, but not stuffed.
- Use all the senses God gave you. Observe smells, textures, sounds, colors and tastes. Put your fork down between bites and enjoy.
- And, pause before eating to give thanks for the kindness of those who planted, harvested, transported, and packaged our food; feel interconnected with them and with God from whom all blessings flow.
Mindful Eating is part of an upcoming Everything Holy packet whose purpose is to help us be more aware of transforming everyday life experiences and seemingly mundane moments – like eating – into something more.