Chocolate can trigger a whole range of different emotions. Some people associate chocolate with pleasant feelings and good memories. Others might remember feelings of guilt and overeating. Regardless of where you stand, there is a way to enjoy chocolate even more. It’s called mindful eating.
Mindful eating means being present during your meal but it also includes being grateful for what you are eating and remembering that someone actually produced the food. Important aspects of mindful eating are being aware of how much you eat and why you eat.
This is probably not new to you, but we often eat to numb our emotional needs. Chocolate is one of the most common snacks people crave when they are feeling low. This is sometimes accompanied by feelings of guilt. Maybe you’ve been in a situation where you realize you just finished a big chocolate bar, but you don’t remember actually eating it. So, you didn’t enjoy the moment but you’re left with an unpleasant feeling.
The good news is there’s a way to enjoy chocolate in a healthier way. Next, some tips on how to get started.
- First of all, choose good quality and ethically produced chocolate. The first step of mindful eating is making conscious choices.
- Pay attention to the texture and the smell of the chocolate before you put it in your mouth. Take only a few pieces and put them on a small plate. If you choose good quality dark chocolate you’ll notice that a few pieces are enough.
- Let the chocolate melt slowly in your mouth. How does it taste? What kind of flavors can you notice? Is there a lingering taste?
- Relax and enjoy!
Mindfulness is an ancient practice -- an art of slowing down and enjoying the essence of the moment. Practiced by monks and spiritual leaders, the art of living a mindful life is becoming more mainstream in the past few years. Celebrate what you put in your body and recognize the energy it takes to make that food.
Now you know some of the basics steps for mindful eating. Goodio’s challenge to you is that you practice mindful eating during the holiday season. You might end up eating healthier and also enjoying your treats more.
And if you’re keen to learn more, we encourage you to read Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by the deeply respected Zen Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh. He walks you through the steps of a mindful existence, beginning with food.
This special guest post was written by meditation coach and expert Emma Sandström.