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According to my mother, eating just isn’t what it used to be anymore. “When I was your age,” says she, “I used to eat everything.” Hopefully not everything, I muse.

Today, in our 21st century diet-obsessed society, the process of eating has become guilt-inducing.

Also, too much focus is placed on what to eat—or should I say, what not to eat—rather than on the actual experience (and pleasure) of consuming food. In a nutshell, mindful eating wants to reconnect us with the practice of enjoying and appreciating what we ingest into our bodies. It does so by asking us to emphasize our attention and attitude toward food.

The following are six of my favorite (and easy) tips to start becoming mindful while eating:

1. Sit Down

Sitting centers you. Taking four or five deep breaths before starting to eat helps also. Remember when Elizabeth Gilbert, in her memoir Eat Pray Love, declared she was in a relationship with her pizza? Well, that here is acceptable. Give your undivided attention and absolute love to your meal. Focus on its aromas, textures, flavors and more. The tanginess of yuzu (Japanese citrus), the spiciness of wasabi, the slime of natto (fermented soybeans)—noticing these details is the best way to begin mindful eating.

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Don’t be afraid to ask touchy questions, to try to get to know each other more. What of your food’s life before it met you? What of its childhood? And by whom was it last handled? If you’re still taking me seriously, know that not only are these questions important in life in general but also that this practice will cause you to eat slower—which in turn makes for better digestion and helps you feel more …continue reading