What better way to welcome 2016 in the Mindful Mondays series than with chocolate? Yes, you’re welcome.
So I bring you, *drumroll*
I am serious. Look, here is the thing. Mindfulness is all about appreciating every little thing and living in the moment, being present. It includes mindful eating.
Chocolate is nature’s way of making up for Mondays – Anonymous
Wherever you look these days, especially if you’ve got “health goals”, you can’t help but notice the never ending “eat this, not that” lists. But in spite of reading labels sincerely, following all kinds of rules, and eating right, weight management is still the Holy Grail for some of us. Have you wondered why?
Apparently there’s more to eating right than just nutrition. It also matters how you eat.
So how do we eat right? Through mindful eating. When we eat mindfully, we appreciate each morsel of food.
I came across chocolate meditation in the book Mindfulness by Mark Williams, where he offers a step by step ritual to experience the pure joy of mindful eating.
Now, I am sure chocolate is a vital part of your life. No, I won’t believe you if you deny it.
So – along with hugging, smiling and sitting meditation, let’s practice Chocolate Meditation via mindful eating.
Simply because chocolate meditation takes mindful eating several levels higher! Isn’t that good news? Also,
Chocolate is cheaper than therapy and you don’t need an appointment – Catherine Aitken
Here’s how to practice it
What you need:
- A slab of chocolate
Pick a chocolate of your choice. Whether it is dark, flavured, sugar-free or whatever, make sure it is something you haven’t eaten recently and, something you generally wouldn’t pick.
Armed with the chocolate, follow these steps:
- Open the pack
- Bring it close enough to inhale the wonderful aroma
- Lose yourself in it
- Now, break off a piece
- Look at it
- Get an eyeful of that treat
- Observe what it looks like
- Examine everything about it
- Imagine its texture and taste
- Gently place it in your mouth
- Hold it on your tongue, letting it melt slowly
- Are you sucking at it?
- Are you letting it melt naturally?
- Chocolate is supposed to have over 300 flavors. How many can you sense?
- Is your mind now wandering as you do this? Pay attention to where it goes and gently steer it back to the present moment
- When the chocolate completely melts, swallow slowly, consciously, deliberately. Allow it to trickle down your throat
- Pop the next piece of chocolate in your mouth
- Okay, a third piece
How does it feel? How did you feel?
Was it different from normal?
Did the chocolate taste better this time?
Eating mindfully makes everything taste better. Including Life. Especially these days, when everyone is in a rush and living “on the go”, “grabbing a bite” and later, not at all sure if they had lunch, and if they are, can’t remember what they ate!
And you have to agree that chocolate definitely improves life. So why not combine it with meditation?
Here are three ways to practice mindful eating:
- Switch off your TV. You’ll eat less
- Use your non-dominant hand. If you’re right handed, use your left. If you’re left-handed, use your right. Helps you focus.
- Enjoy three bites – the first, the mid-meal and the last bite to help you tune in to how your body is enjoying the food.
Did you enjoy this?
Did you miss any of the posts in this series? Visit Mindful Mondays.