I would like to share a tidbit of what I learned this past weekend during my meditation course. The five-day course is now over, and it was a wonderful time. I plan to dedicate a post solely to my overall learning experience, but I want to wait until I’m a bit further into practicing the meditation techniques so that I have more to share about how it is impacting me. For now I will tell a quick story.
On the first full day of the course, we completed what is called a kriya session. This is a rhythmic breathing exercise meant to put you in a meditative state. After it was over, we all experienced different emotions–it was the first time each of us had done kriya and our teachers told us it can release all kinds of emotions. Some of us were frustrated, some were refreshed, some were calm, and some were happy. However, if there was one feeling that we all shared at that moment, it was that we were hungry; it was past 1 0′ clock and none of us had eaten.
They said they had food for us and brought in a bowl of grapes. Each of us got one each. Now I would be pissed if someone actually served me one tiny, grape for lunch but of course I knew they were going to try to make a point so I went with it…
We were told to refrain from eating it right away. Instead, we were directed to observe the grape, notice it’s plumpness, close our eyes, feel it’s coldness in our mouths, take one bite, feel the juice explode onto our tongues, and savor the sweetness of the grape. I know that description might sound inappropriate for obvious reasons, but it was seriously the best tasting grape ever.
Key takeaway here is that when you are eating, take it slow. (that’s what she said!)
Not only is it better to eat slow because you will:
- get full faster so that you don’t over-eat
- chew your food better which leads to better digestion
- prevent heartburn by not eating rapidly
but eating slow is better because it can make eating a much more enjoyable and wholesome experience!
I swear when I eat slowly and am aware of every bite, meals can be absolutely delicious. I consider myself a foodie, so I really appreciate good food, and you’ll sometimes catch me with watery eyes as I’m eating because I think the food is so good. But of course, there are times when I have been so hungry I wolfed down an entire pizza without even tasting it, times where I was so stressed out, I ordered a 20 piece chicken McNugget meal all for my lonesome, or times where I was so focused on an episode of The Wire, that I did not realize I had just eaten a whole bag of trail mix! These are instances of emotional eating, and these are no bueno!
From now on, I aim to avoid emotional eating and especially be more mindful of the pace that I eat at–and I advise you to do the same! Just today I ordered a sandwich during my lunchbreak the usual me would have scarfed it down in 5 minutes. However, thinking of my grape experience, I took small bites, chewed fully, drank water in between, and what do you know- I was full and still had a half left to take home!