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Shh...We're Eating: Mindfulness in the Dining Room

Published: May 1, 2012

Most of us would agree we need a break from our fast-paced lifestyles. But would eating in silence be carrying it too far?

Mindfull MeditationMindful meditation - a technique to slow down and be in the moment - is moving from the yoga mat to the dining room table in hopes of restoring calmness to the process of nourishing our bodies.

Once the preserve of Buddhist monks, mindful meditation is now seen as a powerful tool by the scientific and medical communities to combat stress, depression, anxiety and other lifestyle diseases. Mindful eating is being touted as a way of bringing a degree of consciousness to the dinner hour and possibly helping to combat obesity, now epidemic in our society.

The emphasis is on slow, deliberate eating, savoring food and creating an atmosphere conducive to this. That's why silence is golden - at least at the dinner table. No TV; no gulping it down on your way to something else; no unconscious eating.

If you'd like to try mindful eating, start small. Sit down as a family for one meal a week, turn off the smartphones and TV and try silence, even if it's just for 15 minutes. Consider making a special meal, with a variety of textures and flavors. Focus on fresh vegetables, fish and chicken. Chew each bite 20 times (which also gives your stomach a chance to tell you it's full). Think about what you're eating. But most of all, enjoy it

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