3 Ways You Can Eat With All Your Senses
Liz was starving. She had planned on taking a real lunch break today and making something nutritious, but another unplanned meeting popped up on her calendar – as usual.
So, lunch turned into another quick grab-and-go snack that was anything but healthy. To be honest, she wasn’t even sure what she was eating – she was too busy focusing on other things to pay attention.
Does this sound familiar?
With the busy lives we all lead these days, it’s difficult to find time to make healthy meals, let alone enjoy them. Gone are the days of sitting down at the table as a family every night at 6:00 pm.
Eating is one of life’s simple pleasures. It should be an experience, not just something else you have to do each day.
There is a strong connection between taste and the other senses. We smell the amazing aroma of food, and our taste buds begin to water. We see a beautiful presentation of food, and we can all but taste it.
These things contribute to the enjoyment and appreciation of food as much or more than actually eating it. Studies show that when you pay attention to what you’re putting in your body and eat with all your senses, you’ll tend to eat better, eat less, and enjoy it more!
Here are 3 ways in which you can eat with all your senses to increase your appreciation and awareness.
3 WAYS YOU CAN EAT WITH ALL YOUR SENSES
1. BE MINDFUL
Mindfulness increases our enjoyment of everything around us, including the dining experience. To be mindful at mealtime, it’s important to put your phone down, turn off the television, and limit distractions.
Focus on the food in front of you and nothing else. It might be challenging at first but it will soon become a habit if you hang in there.
At ITN, our coaches know that an easy way to practice mindfulness is using something as simple as an orange slide.
Here’s how it works… take an orange slice and look at it. Make sure to pay attention to all its small details. Smell the orange slice, feel its texture.
Close your eyes, and place the orange slice in your mouth, once again feeling the texture. Then, slowly bite into the orange slice. Feel the texture of the juice and experience the full flavor on your taste buds.
You might even say it’s the best orange slice you’ve ever had – even though there’s nothing special about it.
Make a point to do this with every bite you take, and mindfulness will become second nature.
2. SET THE STAGE
Put on some calming music, light a few candles, dim the lights, and sit down at a beautiful table to stimulate your senses.
Pay attention to the colors and textures of the foods you’re cooking and focus on plating your meal like a work of art.
And don’t forget the music! Studies have shown that you will eat less, savor your food more, digest it easier, and absorb more healthy nutrients when listening to relaxing music.
This is why many restaurants play relaxing music and dim the lights – to enhance your overall experience, not just serve you dinner!
3. AROMATIC PLEASURE
Studies have shown that the smell of food directly results in the level of enjoyment experienced in a meal as well as many other factors.
If you can’t smell a meal, not only are you less likely to want to eat it, but if you do eat it, you will absorb fewer vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
However, if a meal does emit an appealing smell, your body automatically begins increasing the production of saliva, which contains digestive enzymes to help metabolize food more efficiently.
Try cooking close to the area you will be eating in so the aroma will linger a little longer.
The smell of food also contributes to a feeling of fullness, which is beneficial if you are looking to lose weight. In fact, research has shown that dieters can be satisfied with eating smaller volumes of food as long as they are able to receive the appealing taste and smell.
You can better nourish your body, mind, and spirit simply by becoming more mindful of your eating and taking a few steps to enhance your overall mealtime experience.
What ONE step will you take to eat with all your senses this week? Share it in the comments!
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