The Basic Fundamentals of Eating

How to Eat (and other ways to enjoy life as it is)

Before I understood what it meant to eat mindfully, I ate what was on my plate while conducting a variety of tasks, which might have included: talking (with my mouth full), thinking about an assessment/test that would give me anxiety, going through social medias on my phone, watching television, arguing with my parents about something silly… I’m sure this isn’t just me, that other people do this as well while they ate, so you might be thinking, what’s wrong with that way of eating? Who am I to call you out for your manners?

arranged ingridients

That is not the case. I am not here to tell you how to live your life, I am here to share with you my experience on mindful eating, how it makes the meals I eat so much tastier, and how I achieve meditating for at least 5 minutes every day, not from sitting down and closing my eyes, but from sitting down and grabbing a bite.

Firstly, you need to always be aware of what you’re doing

This may sound easy, but it’s actually very hard to be mindful of your own actions. When you’re walking, eating, working and so on, your mind should be within your actions, you should always know that you’re going to a specific destination as you walk and keep in mind what you have to bring to that destination. Forgetfulness can give you or other people around you annoyance, which I do not recommend. This is why you should always do one task, and only one, with your full mind and attention of it. This is the same for eating.

arranged food

Secondly, you should always notice the work put into your food.

When you eat, your hand is be used bring an apple up to your mouth as your mouth open to welcome the fruit, but your mind might be elsewhere. When you chew a piece of food in your mouth, your actions needs a little bit of mindfulness to be aware, to enhance your eating experience and the taste of your food. When you pay attention to that apple and not work while you eat, that is mindfulness. Try to think about it; this apple came from a tree that’s under just the right amount of sun, looking at its red, ripeness, and slowly you can see where this apple came from. The seed of a tree, a beautiful flower than bloomed before it, the blue sky of fluffy clouds and sunlight above it, the sweat of the farmer, the apple picker, and so on. A lot of work is put into that apple and one should take note of it!

It makes me happier to think about all of this, because wow, in this single bite, you’re consuming all the sunlight, wind, cloud and rain that contributed in making this apple; you’re consuming this extraordinarily massive amount of atom and matter without knowing it.  The value of a meal is not determined by how expensive the ingredients costs, but there is always so much work put into harvesting, distributing and cooking, that the thought of eating it matters so much more. Your mindfulness and concentration is what makes the meal much from fantastic mr fox

Finally, what you eat is not the matter, you should eat whatever you want and choose to.

Your body should be controlled by your mind, and as long as your mind is pure, your body should be too! What matters is how you eat what you eat. Sometimes we’re controlled by our jobs, time or community that we’re always rushing through the day so we eat as we run from place to place. We eat in the car or as we walk or run. That is never recommended. You should always sit down when you eat, because that is a reminder for you to stop. No matter how important your job is, you have to be reminded of one thing: you have nothing to do, nowhere to go, the moment is within you.

This process of focusing on a single task as it is being carried out, is very much similar to meditating.

Meditation is basically to keep your mind enclosed on one thing and to fully enjoy living without worrying about anything else, just the act of focusing on your breathing is meditation. That focus is harder than it seems once you sit down and close your eyes, trying not to fall asleep; it’s very hard for a normal person, like me, to sit still without getting anxious about what’s happening on social medias or the noises around me. But practicing to eat with mindfulness is an easier way to meditate and gives you a much better eating experience. My mom, who taught me this technique, said that the best and easiest way to experience life is to live it as it is; breathing, sleeping, and eating, that is the basic fundamentals of living.

As your tongue cleans your mouth after this mindful bite of food, try to maintain the attentiveness that you’ve cultivated; don’t let it be automatic. We have a finite number of hours on this planet — why not be as awake as possible for each of them?