I love to eat. I am also a recovering emotional eater who's been known to put away an entire pizza in one sitting if triggered by an unsettling event or memory.
As we become busier and busier in a society bombarded with electronic devices and social media updates, it’s no wonder many of us feel increasingly distracted. We rush through our meals so we can get back to work, our favorite TV show, or Instagram. Walk into any restaurant and you're bound to see people with their heads down, clicking away at their phones, pretending to be engaged with what's going on around them.
Which is why when I recently learned about "mindful eating," I was immediately intrigued.
During a weeklong spiritual retreat at a yoga and health center, silent breakfasts were implemented. We couldn't communicate at all: no asking if something was gluten-free, no small talk with table mates, nothing.
At first I thought, "How am I going to do this?" I’m extremely outgoing, love getting to know people, and sharing a meal is a perfect time to socialize. What I found, however, is that practicing the art of silent breakfast is not only doable, it's also enjoyable and has some serious health benefits.
You don't need to keep quiet at every meal to eat mindfully; what it comes down to, really, is eating with intention and attention. Listen to what your body tells you it wants as fuel. Pay attention to your food rather than your phone. Be aware of how food makes you feel.
Here are some of the benefits I've experienced from continuing a practice of mindful eating: