Why is it important to eat with purpose? Well, eating with purpose brings awareness to what we’re eating, it also helps us to use our senses and helps digestion. In addition, the act of sitting, brings you into more of a state of calm or rest within your body to help digest your food. Another technique that we are not aware of, because we do it unconsciously; is to take conscious breaths and finally drink small amounts of water as you eat.When was the last time you consciously ate a meal?
The digestive process doesn’t start with us eating our food, it starts in the preparation. However, this type of preparation is more on focused The awareness of where the food has come from, your form of gratitude practice, (what you are grateful for, prayers etc); Your mindfulness of being present in the moment, who made or prepared food, your community and your connection at the end of day with family. When you start to implement these practices it will help the body to start the digestive process to prepare itself for the upcoming feast.
Smelling your food helps to stimulate the saliva in the mouth and sends signals to the body and gets the digestive process ready. Try this, screw up your face, your mouth and then notice where else do you feel this in your body? What happened? Did you feel tension anywhere else in your body? You may have noticed that there might have been some tension all the way down to the stomach and even the anus. That is because we have sphincters all the way through our digestive tract. This is an example of what stress or tension does in your body. When we sit rather than being on the go when we eat it helps to settle our system and allows our body to hone in,on the job at hand, rather than doing 100 other things at once.
Breathing is an unconscious act, but with a little awareness we can use it to help us feel more calm, grounded and mindful before a meal. Try this now, take a few moment whilst your are sitting in your chair, notice how when you breath your torso moves, take your hands to the sides of your ribs and feel the sensation as your breath moves here, become aware of your breath moving in all directions, now check in what do you notice.Try this before you eat your next meal.
This is why it's so important to find ways in which we can relax at meal times and eat more mindfully so we can let our body digest our food. This can result in less bloating, indigestion, cramps, and finally, an easier digestion and knowing when we are full.
Tips to try:
Smell your food before you eat, get the digestive juices going
Take some mindful breaths, settle before you eat, don’t jump straight in
Chew until the food has gone to a paste
Pause between mouthfuls
Only eat your food NO T.V or social media
Drink small amounts of warm/tepid water with a meal
Let your food settle, don’t jump up from the table after your meal
I would love to hear from you if this blog has been useful and please pass it onto anyone that might benefit from this.