Mindfulness is simply the awareness of the present moment. It’s living in the here and now. When we practice mindfulness, we are able to escape the “monkey mind” – the constant droning on and on of the ego, the thought process, living in the past and future-tripping forward in time.
Not only is mindfulness valuable in day to day life so that we may be more aware of the bliss in every single moment of our lives, it is also a useful tool in keeping our physical body in health. Cultivating awareness around our meals and the food we consume allows us to more fully appreciate what we put into our bodies, sometimes requiring less food to satisfy our bellies!
1. Eat in a calming environment. Costa Rica is a great choice. You can also sit down at your dining room table and light some candles, or head outside and eat in a local park. Try to avoid eating at your desk, in your car, or in front of the TV.
2 Chew your food! If you have been to Hacienda for a retreat week with Menlha, you have heard this one before! Digestion begins in the mouth and the more you can liquefy your food, the less taxing it is on your body to assimilate from it all the nutrients its needs.
3. Give gratitude. Take a moment before you dig in to appreciate the plate in front of you. Be thankful that you are able to nourish yourself, and honor the food and all the vitality and strength it will afford you.
4. Savor. Before you take a bite, take a smell. Allow the aromas of your meal to penetrate your nose, your awareness. With each bite, notice the tastes and textures, perhaps noting the different flavor combinations as they hit different spots on your tongue.
5. Take Time. Eating slowly will help your stomach realize when it is full. This will then give your brain enough time to get the message that it is time to stop eating.