Mindful Eating


By Jose Pujalte Jr.

"My appetite comes

to me while eating."

-- Michel de Montaigne

(1533-1592), French Renaissance writer, Of Vanity, Book iii Chap.

Ix in Essais(1580)

Like any good student of philosophy, to understand "mindful eating," appreciate first its antithesis - "mindless eating." For the most part, that's easy - because that's what we do when we eat in front of the TV, munch the popcorn while watching a movie, or wolf down what's supposed to be lunch eaten in 30 minutes but gone in five.

It's not a Contest. Daily eating is not about how many hotdogs you can stuff at the shortest possible time. There are no cheers for eating too fast - only indigestion and lots of gas. Unfortunately, the fast pace of life in the city also means faster eating. Mindful eating is about slowing down. As Jeff Gordinier, writing for The New York Times says, it "is not a diet, or about giving up anything at all [but] about experiencing food more intensely."

What It is. According to The Center of Mindful Eating (http://www.tcme.org), eating is mindful by:

* Allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food preparation and consumption by respecting your own inner wisdom.

* Choosing to eat food that both pleasing to you and nourishing to your body by using all your senses to explore, savor and taste.

* Acknowledging responses to food (likes, neutral, or dislikes) without judgment.

* Learning to be aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decision to begin eating and to stop eating.

Therefore, food as meditation, and becomes a literal pabulum or "food for thought. …

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