Yoga & Nutrition — Mindful Eating, Part 4

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 This is the final post in June's series of exploring Mindful Eating.  We began the series by thinking about what we would serve if Buddha came to our home for dinner- how we might prepare, serve, eat and digest that meal.  We reflected on how different that meal is to the ones we serve ourselves every day?  We explored bringing more of our mindful attention to food- how it smells, tastes, feels and digests.  For this final week, I'd like us to try making one Buddha meal for ourselves.  Just one.  You are divine.  You are worth it.  So, what will you serve? 

Spend time planning the meal, enjoy heading to the market and buying the freshest ingredients, send good intentions into the food as you prepare it, set out your favourite plates and take a moment before you begin to smell and look at the meal you've prepared. Chew slowly, savouring every bite.  Wait until you're finished one bite before you take the next.  Keep your attention on the subtleties of taste, how every cell in your body anticipates being nourished.  Perhaps send a thought of gratitude to a farmer, a bee, a plant, to yourself for taking the time to create this meal.

What happens in our body when we have a Buddha meal?  When we take the time to prepare food, to take in the smells and the visuals, we give our digestive system time to prepare to digest that food.  Our saliva glands and digestive organs get active, releasing digestive juices to break down foods. These digestive juices allow us to better assimilate all the goodness that's in food into the cells of our body.  When we chew slowly, we give our stomach enough time to send our brain the message that we're full.  When we chew our food more completely, we make it easier to digest.  By slowing down and not rushing away from a meal, our body can focus its energy on digesting.  What I think is especially profound as well is that research has shown that water molecules change, literally they physically change, depending on the intention that is projected at them.  So, wouldn't the same happen to the molecules in food?  How much intention goes into a processed food or a food from a restaurant?  Not as much as went from your loving heart into your meal.

But as good as a Buddha meal is, maybe it's not feasible to do every breakfast, lunch and dinner.  So, how can we incorporate Mindful Eating into our life in a practical way? Here are some suggestions:

-Can you make the time to have 1 Buddha meal each week? 
-Can you slow your food down, taking the time to thoroughly chew each bite for at least one meal of the day?
-Can you send some loving intention to your food, asking it to nourish and heal your body?
-Can you choose a few foods each week that were grown lovingly and locally?
-Can you pay more attention to how foods feel in your body and mind?
-Can you be forgiving of yourself and practice non-judgement if you slip?

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Thanks for reading June's series on Mindful Eating!  Please feel free to send me an email or comment with any questions or thoughts.  May your food nourish you, heal you and give you happiness. If this topic has interested you and you're in Toronto, I'm part of the Yoga and our Passions series at Octopus Garden Holistic Yoga Centre.  On Thursday, July 11th from 6:30 to 8 pm, I'll be exploring Yoga and Nutrition.  Please come join me!  Follow this link for more details!

In July,  I'll be exploring Food Foraging- Increasing our Nutrition with What's Under our Feet!  Join me every Friday for a new post. You can also subscribe to get updates of when I post new content on the homepage.