Hi, This is DD Devin from Deevine Intervention Lifestyle & Nutrition Health Coaching.
Today I’m feeling just a little bit stressed…like most of us with a never ending, rotating list of things to do…or as I like to say, ‘Get to do’ list!
And it’s always easier said than done to ‘Just Slow Down’. Breathe. Meditate.
I heard a quote once that cracks me up every time that says….Everyone should meditate at least 20 minutes a day….Unless you’re Really, really, really busy…then, an hour!
Yup, I’ll get right on that…..Sooooo, I thought I’d share with you one of my favorite tips for slowing down on any day, and even multiple times a day, that doesn’t require any extra time out of your day and restores a sense of peace and balance.
Granted, as a health coach It’s not just What you eat, but as I’ve mentioned many times before it’s also how, you eat, when you eat, where you eat and probably most importantly why you eat….but the common denominator is You Must Eat!
Not eating, not only slows down your metabolism, but also sets you up for unhealthy fast food and ultimately a binge later in the day.
So, since I’m going to eat anyways…..I often times, especially on days like today, will tune in my focus, and make it an eating meditation…..So, I’m eating and meditating at the same time. Sweet Right?
Can you guess how many times the average person chews a bite of food?
Three! 3 chews then swallow, which means, your body has to work really hard to break down the food.
We might as well have a door at the stomach that says insert food here.
Saliva, has important enzymes that help break down food, making it easier to digest and assimilate, which means, more of it gets used by the body, versus being stored as fat.
So often we eat mindlessly. We stuff food into our mouths while working on the computer, watching TV, or on the run.
And, by simply chewing your food, it forces you to slow down, which not only aids in digestion and assimilation of nutrients, your stomach doesn’t have to do so much work, your stomach can tell your mind when your full faster, so you will likely end up eating less, but having more energy, and elongates the meal so you are not deprived of the satisfaction of eating.
It’s like you go get a fro-yo with your friend and you hog yours down and then your like a dog panting over theirs because they are eating theirs slowly and you want theirs too.
So, the pleasure of eating…..lies in slowing down and fully experiencing. all of the elements of the food.
So I am not going to Actually do it, because I can’t talk with my mouth full…. But I am just going to describe to you How I do it, and then you can give it a try maybe tonight with your family over dinner.
Take time to explore each of the following during your next meal and make it your meditation or prayer.
I like to start by washing my hands, putting on some music, maybe lighting a candle.
First I Look at my food. I like to imagine that I am a Martian scientist. I just arrived here on Earth and have never seen this food before. I look at it carefully without naming it. I’m looking to see the water, the rain and the sunlight within the food.
Next, I Smell the food. I bring it up to my nose without naming the scent, experience smelling it and then describe what I smell.
Now, I’m not eating it just yet, I now focus on what is going on in my mouth. The Physiological Reaction. I begin to notice that saliva is being produced, even though I haven’t put the food in my mouth. I notice the mind/body phenomenon and how the senses respond to the Anticipation of the food being eaten.
Next, I explore how the food feels. Without naming the sensation, I just experience touching my food.
Then, Motion and Movement. How is it that my hand knows how to move the food directly to my lips? As I bring the food up to my mouth, I notice what happens next. The mouth receives the food. Nothing goes into the mouth without it being received. And who or what is doing the receiving? The Tongue. I observe what the tongue does with it. How does it get the food between the teeth? Its amazing that the tongue is so skilled, and that such a remarkable muscle can actually receive the food and then know what to do with it every time.
NOW, after becoming aware of the food in my mouth, start biting into it very slowly. Then I begin to Chew it. I notice that the tongue decides which side of the mouth it’s going to chew on. I give all of my attention to my mouth and take a few bites.
Then stop to experience what’s happening. What is happening is invariably an explosion of taste. I express what’s going on, trying to be really specific. What is the experience? Is it sweet or sour or juicy? There are hundreds of words to describe the experience of tasting.
And, as I continue to chew, the taste changes, as does the Consistency. At a certain point you will become aware of the texture of the food because the taste has mostly passed. If the texture causes aversion, you may want to swallow it, but try to keep it in your mouth.
Don’t swallow it yet. I like to stay with the impatience and the inborn impulse to swallow. Do not swallow until you detect the impulse to do so. And then, observe, what is involved in getting the food over to the place where it’s going to be swallowed.
When you detect the impulse to swallow, follow it down into the stomach, feel you whole body, and acknowledge that your body is now exactly one bite heavier.
Next………..pause for a moment or two, and see if you can taste your Breath in a similar way. Bring the same quality of attention to the breath that you gave to seeing, feeling, smelling, and tasting the food.
Finally. Be Silent.
By this point, you understand something of what meditation is. It is doing what we do all the time, except we’re doing it with our attention. Directed, moment-to-moment, nonjudgmental attention.
Sometimes we want big results fast, and we imagine that means pushing ourselves as far and fast as we can go. But we often set ourselves up for failure that way. It turns out the opposite is often more effective. Slow and steady, consistent follow through is what gets results.