Awakened Lunch: Eat Mindfully, Feel Better!

Relax in the Midst of the Busiest Day by Eating Mindfully

My laptop was acting up the other day, so I picked it up and turned it over to see if I had accidentally switched off some vital but mysterious button. And then the grossest thing happened: about a half-cup of crumbs fell out from between the keys. Ew.

Taking it as a cue from the universe to actually treat myself to a civilized lunch, I’ve been giving myself the gift of sitting at the table and doing nothing but savoring my food.  And I’ve noticed the most amazing results. I feel a whole lot calmer when I give my lunch my full attention. I’m also more grateful for the food and in a better mood for the rest of the afternoon. I even feel fuller, longer.

Next time you find yourself about to chow down in front of the computer (or the TV), try treating yourself to an awakened lunch. No matter how crazy a day you’re having, you’ve still gotta eat, right? 

 How to have an Awakened Lunch:

  • Focus your attention on your food as you prepare it--whether you’re making it from scratch or you’re taking it out of the bag the restaurant packed it in.

  • How does the food smell? What colors does it contain? How do the utensils feel in your hands?

  • Before you start eating, take a moment to give thanks for having this food to nourish yourself.

  • As you chew, get curious. How many individual ingredients can you taste? What are the physical sensations of the food in your mouth? Can you feel the food travel through your body as you swallow it?

  • Take a deep breath between each bite.

  • Every time your mind wanders off, bring it back to the experience at hand and anchor it to one of the sensory details of your meal—the taste, the smell, the feel.

  • When you’re finished. Sit quietly with your eyes closed, even if it’s for a split second, to complete the ritual.

  • Notice how you feel now compared to how you felt before you began your meal.


 Kate Hanley is a freelance writer who specializes in exploring the mind-body connection. She completed her yoga teacher training at OM Yoga in New York City and has studied with yoga experts Rodney Yee and Cyndi Lee and meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg.


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