We are ALL busy, especially this time of year. As a yoga and meditation instructor, one of the most common answers that I get when I ask people if they meditate is.. ‘I don’t have time to meditate!’ Well, I have discovered a mindful meditation practice that is short and simple, and that you may be able to incorporate even into your busy life!
Meditate on what you eat! Yes, I’m serious!
When leading my International yoga and meditation retreats, I have the ability to witness the incredibly beautiful food prepared with care by a private chef. I watch with a smile as each of my students personally thank the chef each night for the beauty and heart that is poured into each meal. The chef is fulfilled just that we have enjoyed the food from his/ her garden. So, ask yourself… Do I actually take the time to enjoy my food when you eat? Do I thank myself or the person that grew or prepared my food each time I consume?
The late Jamie Zimmerman, M.D. created a mindful eating meditation that will help you learn to handle food cravings with awareness and intention. It will also allow you to realize how we should be grateful that we have nourishment for our bodies.
When we are busy with life, we forget that our mealtimes are intended to be moments of of celebration and awareness. It may seem far-fetched, but if you just try it with even one meal per day, you may find you are more appreciative of what goes into your body, and therefore, make better eating choices.
So, how do I meditate when I eat? Well first, let’s start with what this doesn’t include: driving down the highway while shoveling a bag of kale chips… while also on a conference call… while the baby is crying… while someone just cut you off… while trying to find toll money… while spilling your coffee… while…. Get the idea?
What is does include: Mindful eating allows us to STOP and directly tune into the body while consuming food, to truly appreciate each bite. Here is how it works:
Use the acronym STOP to help you through moments of fear and weakness.
“S” stands for simply that: stop. (So pull the car over!)
“T” stands for take three deep breaths. Breathing helps you to invite gratitude in for each bite that you take.
“O” stands for observe. Observe how you feel before and during your meal.
“P” stands for proceed in a way that supports you and those around you. When you are ready to consume, do it with LOVE for your food, love fro where it came from, especially if it was from the Juicery:)
You can use this STOP acronym as many times as you would like with your meal intake. Maybe you could offer it up at the next family dinner you have as something to do together. Ask the person in your family that prepared the meal where they purchased the food and if it was from a local source… or from their own garden!
Knowing exactly what we are nourishing our bodies with and where it comes from allows us to make better decisions and to feel even more of a sense of gratitude and fulfillment.
If you are interested in learning more about meditating and celebrating as a community, I will be leading a Strawberry Full Moon Yoga and Meditation celebration on June 9th, at 6:45pm on Plum Island in Newbury, MA. Please join me for live music with Jenna Sarno. Sweet treats and tea will be provided by the Juicery!
Purchase tickets here.