Thursday, January 7, 2010

My mindfully eaten dinner

The term "mindful eating" has been on my radar lately - it's cropped up here and there in articles I've read, and there are some new books out on the topic. Basically, eating mindfully means you are paying attention to what you eat. Instead of shoving food in your mouth while you stand at the counter sorting through mail, you sit down at a table and savor each bite, paying attention to the flavors you're experiencing and your level of hunger/fullness.

I'm very guilty of being a non-mindful eater. I am usually shoveling bites of food into my mouth while I focus on catering to the girls. Even when I take the time to make myself a good healthy meal, I rarely sit down and actually savor it. Instead I try to wolf it down in between requests for more water, crackers, meatballs, grapes, picking up a dropped fork, wiping off a slimy hand, etc.

In fact, I think part of the reason I love chocolate so much is that it is some of the only mindful eating I do. When the girls are taking naps and I have peace, I will brew some coffee and break off some chunks of a decadent Golden Almond bar, and I am in heaven. Sure, a Golden Almond would taste good under any circumstances, but it tastes extra good when I am lying on the couch in silence and savoring each bite.

Tonight, I was about to mindlessly eat my dinner. My husband had cooked a Trader Joe's flatbread in the oven and it was sitting half-cooled on the counter when I came down from putting Brynn to bed. I picked up a piece and took a was really good, but not as good as it would have been were it not lukewarm. Part of me wanted to just chow it down because I was hungry and wanted to get on with my night, but then a little voice in me said STOP!

I realized that I was about to eat something really tasty, and I wanted to truly enjoy it. So instead of standing over the kitchen island eating lukewarm flatbread, I decided to take an extra 5 minutes to re-crisp the flatbread. And then I made a salad and put it on a nice plate. I sat down at the table, poured a glass of wine, and savored my food. And it was damn good.

By the way, the flatbread I had was Trader Joe's French Style Flat Bread with Ham, Caramalized Onions & Gruyere Cheese. If you have the fortune of living near a Trader Joe's, you should buy it for sure. If not, I'm sure it's pretty easy to make. Aside from the crust, the only ingredients on the flatbread are creme fraiche, ham, caramelized onions, and gruyere cheese.


  1. Since the portions I can eat are so limited now, I eat a lot slower, which isn't quite the same thing as mindful, but closer than it used to be.

  2. I so wish we had a Trader's Joe in our area. Maybe in a couple of weeks I could taste that flatbread????

  3. Mom, I will stock some for you...

    Adam, I actually read an article about mindful eating that said a "side effect" of lap-band surgery was that people were forced to eat mindfully. I guess if you can only have 4 tbsp at a time, you'd better make sure you enjoy them!!

  4. Is this why my momma always said chew your food at least 15 times? Love this blog!!