There is a quote from Benjamin Franklin saying, “ eat to live, don’t live to eat”. He is saying that we need to eat for survival and not for leisure. We can definitely enjoy our food and be thankful for it but we should not just eat out of boredom. How can we strive to be more mindful of what we are putting into ourselves? Your body is your machine of survival, it is important to enter the correct nutrients into the machine in order for it to survive.
In the world today, we all live very busy lives. That is why majority of Americans live on a fast food diet leading to extreme rates of obesity. Even those of us who stay far away from the fast food industry, quickly breeze through our meals in order to maintain our booked schedules. These meals can be healthy and exactly what our body needs but it is not appreciated by us. When we open the opportunity to appreciate what food we are putting into our bodies we can then eat mindfully. To be mindful of your food means to be aware of what it is, where it came from, how it travelled into your hands, and how it directly affects your body.
There are many religions that pray or meditate before consuming their meals. This is a time of gratitude for this wealth of food. Whether you are spiritual, religious, or none of the above food enters all of our bodies the same way. Next time you go to eat a meal, try to just look at what it is and be thankful for it. I have to admit it is easier to be thankful for food that treats my body well. Anyone can notice how certain foods make them feel internally and externally. It is important that we are aware and take responsibility for what we feed ourselves.
Our body being the machine of survival is made up of many chemical reactions. For example, when your car runs out of coolant your engine overheats. Similar with the human body, when we run low on water our body becomes dehydrated leading to multiple issues. In order to be mindful of what we eat it is good to try and prepare your own food. When we take time to cook for ourselves we automatically appreciate the work we put into making it. We become aware of ingredients in our food and learn what works best with our bodies.
Try your best to be mindful of what you are eating by asking yourself these questions. What is it? Where is it from? How is it produced? How is it transported? How does it affect your body? What does it look like? What does it smell like? Experiment with your thoughts on this topic of mindful eating. Notice the gratitude you will experience while eating mindfully and see if it has a positive effect on your body as well! Always, always remember to say thank you.