February 8, 2012

Mindful Eating.

My wife and I had dinner at a favorite restaurant last night. I thought about the food we shared and enjoyed being together for the time we spent during the meal…

There’s a restaurant in town called Buddha Belly. I love it. The food is fresh, comes prepared as delicious entrees and I’ve tried many times to duplicate their recipes at home but it’s never as good as in the restaurant.

Last night, we ordered a favorite dish: chickpea and tempura cauliflower curry. We also ordered the Zen Salad. It was a delicious meal, uninterrupted for the most part.

I have to admit, when the conversation stopped and we just ate, I noticed the pause. I truly enjoyed the meal. I truly noticed each pause in the conversation.

That’s part of the reason that an article about mindful eating in today’s New York Times seems like a happy coincidence to me. It’s called Mindful Eating as a Way to Fight Bingeing, By Jeff Gordinier.

What is mindful eating? You might think of mindful eating as meditating while eating. The meditation takes the form of focusing on the food you’re eating and not so much the conversation and distractions that surround it. The distractions might be TV, newspaper, or other things that take your mind off the meal.

“Mindful eating is not a diet, or about giving up anything at all. It’s about experiencing food more intensely — especially the pleasure of it.”

It’s suggested that to try mindful eating you might start gradually. These hints are offered:

  1. Focus on the food rather than distractions when you eat.
  2. Try being quiet during the mindful meal.
  3. Have a mindful meal every now and then. Bear in mind that it may not be possible to make every meal mindful.
  4. Try planting a garden. You might know from my writing about organic community gardening I liked that suggestion!
  5. Chew each mouthful 25-30 times.
  6. Use flowers and candles.
  7. Visit a Buddhist congregation. Jeff mentioned the Blue Cliff Monastery.

I enjoyed Jeff’s article and I won’t try to summarize every aspect of it here. I think you’ll like it, too. I’d be interested to read your comments about your thoughts regarding mindful eating. And, if you have a chickpea and tempura cauliflower curry recipe you love, please share it with me. I’ve been trying to make one as good as Buddha Belly’s for a long time.





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