This exercise is an opportunity to demonstrate how mindfulness can bring a new experience to a habitual activity. We suggest you use your favorite OM POWER bar or OM POWER snack mix for this activity, although you could also use some fresh fruit or chocolate or your favorite holiday treat. This is a great activity to do by yourself or with your friends, partner, or children to encourage eating with attention and being present in the moment.
To start, hold the food in your open hand and notice the item. Examine the shape, texture, and colors. Is it cool or hot? Inspect it fully visually. Then, using your fingers, feel the food. Is it smooth, soft, etc? Notice how it feels between your fingers. Now bring the item to your nose and smell the food. Allow the aroma to consume you. Place the item in your mouth, don’t chew it yet. Let is sit on your tongue. Notice how your taste buds respond and any build-up of saliva. Notice the urge to quickly chew and swallow, but don’t follow it. After you sit with that urge for a moment, mindfully take one bite of the food. Notice how the taste transforms. Hold the food in your mouth. Notice if the urge to swallow is growing or diminishing. Continue to chew whatever is left and swallow the food.
If you’re doing this exercise with someone else, take a moment to share your experience and any insights you may have noticed. You can repeat the exercise with as many foods as you want. Remember the key is to slow down and notice & appreciate all the different flavors, textures and smells food delights us with every day. Enjoy!