Three weeks pass in the blink of an eye. Or...in the scarfing of a meal. That is how long I've been practicing mindful eating as my fourth test method in the eating slowly experiment.
Results. Mindful eating is a romantic concept. Taking the time to mindfully chew, think, and process your food is the way I would certainly like to eat in an ideal world. But life isn't ideal. My life (like yours) is littered with rushed meals, stressful days, and a tired body and brain. At the end of a long day it is HARD to take the effort to think so carefully about dinner. To me it seems that mindfulness is a skill that will require careful cultivation over time.
Here is my observation. The methods that were not concrete or measurable, like the mindful eating method or the pause and calm method, were easy to forget or skip. I even had to write myself post-it notes and scatter them around the house to remind me to eat mindfully, hence the pictures (and yes, I support radon testing). More concrete methods, with a tangible task, like the fork down method, were much more successful.
When I did manage to eat more mindfully, the meal was not only slower, but more pleasurable and satisfying.
I want to cultivate the skill of mindful eating, I do. As a result of this experiment I have been reading several books on the topic, which I hope will help me incorporate this type of behavior into my life. One book in particular, Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays, has a series of meditations and experiments included with the book that I would love to attempt. If you guys have any interest in doing this together in the form of an interactive 'mindful eating experiment', please let me know. Otherwise, I will do them on my own (hopefully) and report back to you.
Do you practice mindful eating? Pretty please comment on this post and/or e-mail me (email@example.com) with your thoughts on the subject. Look for an introduction post for the final eating slowly method soon!