(Another video blog – hooray!  Read, then watch.  Rinse and repeat as necessary.)

Last week I was all about telling you to “shut your mouth and breathe!”  Well, now I need you to open your mouth (you gotta get that food in somehow!) yet stay in that mindset you cultivated through your conscious breathing.  I want you to engage in what is called MINDFUL EATING.

Mindful = aware, alert, attentive, present.

It’s so simple it’s ridiculous! 🙂  Mindful eating improves your nutrition without changing a thing about your diet. Studies have shown that when you give your meals your full attention, you actually improve digestion and nutrient absorption.  Yes, really.  Eating while stressed out or angry inhibits and complicates digestion; eating while relaxed or happy increases the assimilation of nutrients.

Take your time.  Get centered before you dive into your food.  Perhaps say a prayer, give some gratitude, do a mini-meditation, or just take a few simple, slow, deep breaths before diving into your plate mindlessly. Ever scarf down your dinner and three minutes later ask yourself where all your food went?!  Chew thoroughly. Notice the flavors. Appreciate the textures.  Turn off the TV and step away from the computer!  🙂 Be fully present.  Be fully engaged.  Get yourself in a happy place and then enjoy your food.

Plus, this practice REALLY helps prevent over-eating, as well! 🙂  Eating slowly and more deliberately gives your brain time to catch up with your stomach and alert it that it is full.  You’ll find you’re often able to stop at a more “appropriate” level of fullness instead of that regretful “ugh” you feel after stuffing yourself.

Whether you apply this mindfulness principle to how you eat, in relationship with yourself or others, in your career, spiritual practice, or exercise routine, I want you to continue to cultivate a new, healthier, fuller perspective of what you’re doing while you’re doing it.  Appreciate where you are.  This is the essence of being fully present, of being “centered.”  Find what works for you to get you to that place and, as often as possible, incorporate that into your mealtime (or lifestyle) routine.

Let me know how it’s going! 🙂