Eating Mindfully

Natalie Murphy is a registered dietitian, nutritionist. She enjoys splitting her time between guiding individuals improve their relationship with food and being a stay at home mom. On a sunny afternoon she can be found exploring the trails or setting up camp along the coast. She lives life in Bend, Oregon with her husband, 4-year old daughter and black cat. She works at Ruby Slippers Wellness

Do you ever find yourself eating breakfast in your car? While dodging traffic on a crowded freeway? And talking on your cell phone at the same time? If so, you are not alone. We live in a fast paced, do-more, multi-tasking culture. By the time we arrive at work we may not even remember what we had for breakfast, much less what it tasted like! When was the last time you felt truly present while eating? Mindfulness can make a world of difference, at both the breakfast table and in life.

Can you simply eat while you are eating?
Try this one minute experiment the next time you enjoy a LÄRABAR…

1. Turn off the car, close the computer, stop moving, and just sit still.

2. Close your eyes and engage your other senses.

3. Bring the bar up to your nose and smell it. Truly smell it. Fruity, earthy, wholesome…

4. Now take a small bite and slowly chew. Breathe. What flavors do you notice? Tangy, sweet, nutty…

5. Take time to swallow the first bite before taking the next.

6. What textures do you feel in your mouth? Sticky, chewy, crunchy…

7. Breathe.

8. You may notice thoughts like "I should get back on the trail" or "I need to check my email" or "I want to take another bite." If that happens, simply come back to what's going on in your mouth, in the moment. Be present.

9. In your mind's eye, follow the journey of the bar from your mouth to your stomach. How does it feel?

10. Open your eyes.

It may not be feasible to eat mindfully during every snack or meal of the day. However, what do you notice when you are able to slow down and give full presence to what you are eating? Do you enjoy the food more? Do you notice you are not actually hungry, but perhaps eating for other reasons? Maybe you notice you are really hungry and you would benefit from stopping what you are doing and cooking a meal. Eating mindfully can tune you back into your senses and cue you to better notice hunger and fullness signals. What better way to support wellness than through your body's own signals?

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