This is a 3rd and final blog edition offering you tidbits on bringing awareness to the act of eating. With awareness a new layer of wellness is revealed that comes from within you! One begins by simply slowing down and noticing. And for those of you with children, I will offer an eating activity to help you and your kids slow down, notice and enjoy eating!
You can become a more mindful, aware eater. Just like any new skill, the journey is in the daily practice. The following exercise*, which I call mindful tasting, is fun to do on your own or shared with children. Don’t rush the tasting. Enjoy!
Each person will mindfully taste a Clementine which is small and easy for little ones to peel. Provide a Clementine for each person. If with children, the adult will guide the discussion. Here’s what to do:
- Wash your hands.
- Admire the color, shape, and texture of the Clementine.
- Clementines grow on trees in warm climates. Close your eyes and imagine where your Clementine grew. Can you feel the warm sun? Can you smell the blossoms? Can you see the fruit on the trees?
- Open your eyes and smell the Clementine.
- Place the Clementine on a napkin or piece of paper towel. Roll it firmly on the table to release the Clementine’s essence.
- Pick up the Clementine again and smell the essence.
- Begin to peel the Clementine. Take time to smell the Clementine again. Does it smell stronger? Sweeter? Peel the fruit slowly, taking time to enjoy the aroma, texture, and color.
- Separate a couple of segments. Examine their inner structure – hundreds of tiny juice-filled sacs.
- Place a segment in your mouth, close your eyes, and bite down. Pay attention to how the juice bursts into your mouth and fills it with orange flavor.
- Chew slowly and experience the texture of the membrane. How is this different than drinking a glass of orange juice?
- As you chew slowly, pretend this is the last Clementine on earth. It’s all yours!
Was the Clementine satisfying? Why or why not?
Do you usually eat Clementines in this way?
What would happen if you ate food this way more often?
How often do you eat because you are hungry for food? How much is to fill a need that has nothing to do with food?
Imagine your orange really is the last one on earth, and it’s your job to keep the memory of the Clementine from being lost from the world. Think about what you would say to another person. How would you describe the experience so he/she could appreciate a Clementine?
I hope you found this series on mindfulness and bring awareness to the act of eating helpful. For more information, feel free to contact me at www.reidenbachnutrition.com
* Adapted from University of Wyoming, Cooperative Extension Service. MP112-5.
Ann Reidenbach, MPH, RD, CD of Reidenbach Nutrition, LLC