Are food and love connected? Let me count the ways…

How many of you love food? I do!

It reaches into my soul with comfort, colours, smells and tastes that are rich and enjoyable. It’s a social time to spend with family and friends. Especially, the preparation of food is magical from selecting quality ingredients, cutting, chopping, mixing, cooking to presenting it on the table!

Shockingly, I go through that whole process and by the time I sit down to eat, that magical feeling is gone!

What happens! I rush in for the kill and finish it off without connecting to the final steps of enjoyment, tasting and savouring food itself.

I know I’m not alone; many people struggle with the same experience. Most don’t even think about enjoying the preparation of food just dig right in with no thought or awareness.

Studies have shown that after the first bit, food loses it appeal and we spend the rest of our meal trying to recapture that first initial pleasure.

Why are we most hungry at the first bite and then devour food to fill that hunger gap?

The sensations and warm feelings you experience begins in the digestive track that connects to the gut brain in your belly, (You know the butterflies, that gut instinct that talks to you?).

Scientifically known as the enteric nervous system, it is partly housed under the mucosal lining and the muscular layers of the oesophagus, stomach and small and large intestines. It is a rich and complicated network of neurons and neurochemicals that travel throughout the body and to the brain.

Its specialized cells produce and receive endorphins and enkephalins, neurochemicals that create a host of sensations of joy, satisfaction, and pain relief.  These warm sensations squirt those chemicals throughout the body. That’s a physiological explanation yet the mind takes over and taps into the mental habits and behaviours that control your eating fate.

Experiencing mindful eating adds a new dimension for reliving that first initial burst of flavour that explodes your senses beyond that initial bite.  

Today on Valentine’s Day, tap into your senses and challenge yourself to enjoy the full experience of eating your favourite foods with pleasure using mindfulness.

Ask yourself:

What do I really want to eat that will bring me satisfaction right now?

Look at your food and notice all that invites!

Take three deep breaths to slow down and feel calm.

Now tap into your senses:

Tune into each different characteristic and sensorial quality of food as you eat:

  • Sight – light, shadow, shape, edges, color, size
  • Touch – weight, pressure, texture, hardness, creamy, crunchy, soft
  • Hearing – different sounds the food might make or not!
  • Smell – aroma, scent, smell
  • Taste – flavor, sweet, sour, tang, salt, bitter, spicy

Becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues by guiding your decisions to begin and end eating. Bringing awareness of how you can make choices that support health and wellbeing. Creating a sense of embodiment as you become more aware of your body sensations – moving from the sensations to thoughts and reconnecting to your body to the present moment of eating, chewing, and breathing.

Today, savour your food experiences by tapping into your senses and being present!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Rani Glick is a certified holistic nutiritionist, mindful eating and mindfulness facilitator. If you are interested in knowing more about mindfulness or mindful eating, contact me at wellness@raniglick.com.

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