Contributed by Yvanka R.

Breakfast is often eaten while running out the door trying to get to work on time.  Lunch is commonly eaten in front of the computer or while in a meeting. Dinner is mostly thrown together or eaten in the car from a drive-thru.  While eating on the run takes care of our need for sustenance, it does little to promote real enjoyment of our meals.

Eating mindfully helps you to slow down and appreciate your meal. It makes you aware of what you are eating and might even encourage you to eat healthier.  Here are some tips to help you be more mindful eaters.

Be grateful.  Giving thanks helps you appreciate the food you are about to eat.  It also focuses you on what is good in your life which helps you feel good about what you are eating.

Take a few deep breaths. Deep breathing allows you to set the tone for what is about to happen.  It relaxes and calms you, slows down your racing mind and, for some, helps you get rid of some of the emotional reasons that many of us use food to assuage.

Fill your plate with different foods. Sometimes eating the same foods day after day gets boring and, when this happens, mindfulness is unlikely. So, spice things up a bit! For example, if you often have mixed vegetables or potatoes, try some new ones like brussels sprouts, cauliflower, sweet potato or any others that you enjoy but only have once in a while–that will get your taste buds excited!

Put your fork down between bites. After you take your first bite, put down the fork and take a little time between forkfuls. This will slow you down and you might actually taste what you are eating before swallowing.

Chew your food. Count how many times you chew a mouthful; try to chew 10-20 times. Besides being helpful for your digestion, doing so will help you notice the flavors in the food and make you more aware of what you are eating.

Do you have any other tips that work for you?
We invite you to share your ideas in the comment box below. We look forward to hearing from you!