One of the sweetest memories I have of my deceased grandfather is of him, on a Sunday afternoon, sitting on his kitchen stool, eating apples.
After the noise of the Sunday family lunch had quieted down, I walked into the kitchen and found him with an apple on the one hand and a knife on the other. His knife steadily journeyed around the apple in a quasi-meditative circular motion revealing a beautiful yellow nectar. I sat there and couldn't help but think about how long that apple had been quietly growing under the protection of its thick red peel.
He paused, looked at me, smiled, and offered me an unpeeled one. As I watched him prepare his first slice by making a careful longitudinal incision around the circumference of his apple, I swiftly gave mine the first bite. It was tasty but not delicious. Before he could take the first slice of his apple for himself, my seven-year-old self pleaded for an exchange, my half-bitten apple for his pristine masterpiece. He didn't negotiate and generously accepted. All I can say is that to this day, I have not yet tasted a more delicious apple.
There are countless articles, essays, and books discussing the effects of food rituals that not only build up our expectations but make food more flavorful. One of my favorite books on the subject, Eating Mindfully by Dr. Alberts, suggests that eating with presence ( eating with awareness of the flavors, experiences and surroundings) might even help control stressful situations, anxiety, and many eating disorders. Other peer-reviewed sources suggest that eating with presence might also help manage a healthy weight. While some of those claims might seem to take a bit of a leap, I believe that there is much wisdom to how my grandad chose to eat his apple.
He decided to experience his food as if it were something precious. It was this perception which became a reality for both him and me.
In my opinion, the challenge of many food solutions available to us is that they are designed for the physical function of our body without regard to our psychosomatic nature. The fact that our mind and body profoundly affect one another makes it so that our attitude towards our food also affects how we benefit from it. Therefore, many nutritionists and doctors suggest that the practice of mindful eating, an approach to our food, which focuses on our sensual awareness and experience, improves our overall well being.
However, the reality is that on r I rarely have a routine I rarely have the time or discipline to eat an apple with the treasure and care of my grandfather. However, here are some practices that have allowed me to enjoy my food more mindfully.
4 Tips to eating more mindfully
1. Start my day off with a "beginners attitude."
I start my days with a Capuli Revitalized Macha fruit-infused drink. I boil my water, pour the contents of the pack in my infuser bottle, and steep my brew while I go about making my breakfast. It gives me solace to enjoy the same breakfast every day - soft boiled eggs, cucumbers, avocado, cottage cheese. The beauty of my Capuli drink and the expectation that builds up while it steeps helps me approach my food with the wonder.
2. Eat-in the company of others at set times.
Eating with people helps me think of food in a less outcome-oriented way and become more appreciative of the time and process. Sometimes, in the past, when I have gone through weeks without mindfully eating with someone, I recognize in myself yearning for enjoying the little things. I begin asking myself, what is life if I can't enjoy the simple pleasures that make it beautiful.
3. No multitasking while I eat.
In the past, I only found a few things more complicated than enjoying eating by myself in silence. Many times, resisting the urge to reach out and scroll mindlessly through my phone felt as difficult as fasting. With practice and appreciation for silence, things slowly got better, I no longer scrolled, but I listened to interesting podcasts or calming music. However, later, I began making my time of eating, my time of pause. It became a time to examine my day and reflect on the things that matter. Eating in silence, a few times a week helps me to program a pause in my week and remain curious about my surroundings.
4. Eat until Satisfied and not past full.
In Spanish, it is considered rude to say "I am so full" after eating, rather the appropriate expression would be "I am satisfied." The difference between learning to eat until full and until satisfied not only helps me to take care of maintaining a healthy weight but in learning to listen to my body, I understand how to love myself and others better.
If you have any thoughts or tips as to how to eat more mindfully, please make sure to share below. If this article is interesting or helpful to you, please share. If you are a mindfulness guru who would like to collaborate with us, please contact me. :)