Think back to a special meal with family or friends, probably Christmas dinner. You probably were relaxed and really noticed and enjoyed your food. Maybe there was some nice dinner music playing in the background, and you lingered at the table a bit longer than a usual meal.

We don’t tend to eat all of our meals like this. I have a terrible habit of eating like I’m in the Army or something. As if someone is going to take my plate away in 5 minutes. Or I eat at my computer desk, or in front of the TV, or doing some other mindless distraction.

Practice mindful eating today. By that, I simply mean to slow down and enjoy your food.  For me, it takes an effort to consciously do the following: Look at the food. Enjoy the color and texture and fragrance. Silently or out loud, thank the cook and the food itself. Take a bite, and slowly and mindfully chew it, and enjoy the flavor. Repeat. Stop when you are full. Or 80% full as some experts recommend. I don’t know how one would estimate 80% full as opposed to 75% or 90%. That was just a number that was in the news the other day and I found it absurdly precise. The point is that when you practice mindful eating you are less likely to overeat. Theoretically.

This is what I will be doing today. I will put on some music and I will not distract my eyes or mind with other tasks while I am eating. I am hoping I can make this a habit and make all meals special.

(Image credit: petitelili)

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