Eating Rituals to Cultivate Presence


How often do you stand at the kitchen counter phone in one hand, fork in the other, looking at the dirty dishes, unkempt living room, and unopened mail? Sound familiar? Now visualize yourself sitting calmly at your kitchen table, eyes closed, smelling the fragrances of the meal you prepared. Sound like a fantasy? We don't think so!

Cultivating presence with your food is about finding the little opportunities to create rituals. Ayurveda, an Indian traditional medicine practice, weaves mindful rituals into each of their founding principles. We can learn to cultivate presence by following these guidelines:

1: Prepare food with hands in a loving way

Listen to the sound of chopping. Notice the smell of the herbs roasting. Admire the golden color of the roasted vegetables.

2: Take a pause before you start your meal

Bring your attention to the present moment.

3: Eat food in a designated place

Stay seated and grounded the entire meal.

4: Eat without distractions

No idle chatter, music, television, or phone. While the holidays are around us, this will be challenging! Even if there are distractions, control only what you can.

5: Consume your food without guilt

Your body digests meals more efficiently if you have positives thoughts associated with food.

6: Allow at least three hours between meals

Your body takes about three hours to digest between meals. Give you digestive system a chance to catch up.

7: Enjoy!

Okay, this one is just a loving reminder from me! 

Author: Rachel Walz, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Author: Rachel Walz, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist