I posted this at my cooking site, www.jensnaturalkitchen.com today and I feel like it is equally appropriate here so I am posting it here as well.
I just read a really interesting article in the New York Times about the concept of mindful eating. It is a very simple concept, the idea behind mindful eating (or mindful anything) is simply to slow down and completely focus on the food in front of you. How does it look? Enjoy the contrasts of colors and shapes. How does it smell? Try to pick out individual spice smells, then smell it as a whole. How does it taste? Eat each bite slowly and fully absorb the flavors and textures. Pause between bites to experience the complete process of each bite from when it enters your mouth to when you fully swallow the food. Think of eating this way as a meditation and a way of more deeply tuning in to the nutrients that you are putting into your body. Take a moment to be aware of how the food you are eating will nourish and energize your body so that you can do all of the other things in your life.
One of the benefits of eating this way is that is slows you down. As most of us know, it takes at least 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain that it is full. Most of us eat too quickly for the message to arrive so we end up eating everything on our plates or even second servings before we realize that we have over eaten. This leads to problems with digestion and to weight problems as well. The practice of mindful eating will slow your meal down quite a bit and will allow you time to realize when you are full but not stuffed.
It may be impractical to think that you could or would want to eat everything this way, but sometimes it is good to slow down and connect your mind to what is on your plate. I encourage you to read the article that I linked to in the first sentence and to try out mindfulness for yourself.