Four tips for mindful eating

Joanne Cohen-Katz, a psychologist and co-director of the Center for Mindfulness at Lehigh Valley Health Network, gave reporter Alisa Bowman some great tips on mindful eating. Although the emphasis was on mindful eating for weight loss, this advice will help enrich the quality of your life generally.

  1. Meditate on one bite. You won’t be able to do this with every single bite of food, but try to do it periodically. Try, for instance, to be completely mindful as you eat a raisin. Hold it in your hand. Notice what it looks like. Smell it. Roll it in your fingers. Then place it on your tongue, but don’t chew it just yet. What does it feel like there? Then slowly chew it, noticing how that changes the taste sensation in your mouth. Really enjoy this raisin. After you’ve finished, think about how you usually eat.
  2. Pause before digging in. Create a pre-eating ritual. Look at the food on your plate. Take it in visually. Think about how it got from farm to plate. Or you might feel thankful that you have food to eat and consider that not everyone does.
  3. Notice at least two bites. Meditate on at least the first bite and the last bite of every meal.
  4. Ban distractions. Don’t read. Don’t watch TV. Don’t play games. Tune out from your smart phone. Tune into your meal instead.
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