mealtime ritualsThe following guest post is written by Megan Thompson. Running guest posts is a new thing I’m trying out—if you are a registered dietitian or a dietetic student and are interested in guest posting here, you can get more details on my “Want to write a guest post?” page.

When was the last time you actually sat down and really savored a meal? We’re talking about really tasting the food on the plate in front of you, while being aware of exactly what you’re eating and what it’s doing for your body.

The sad reality is that very few of us have time these days to sit down and think about what we’re consuming. Our rushed lifestyles make it seem nearly impossible, but the good news is that there are plenty of ways to eat more mindfully. One way to do it is with the help of mealtime rituals.

Why Mindful Mealtimes?

When you become more mindful and eat more mindfully, it can boost your meditation practice, as well as increasing your health and wellbeing, benefiting both the mental and physical self.

In essence, mealtime rituals help us balance out the hectic pace of life in general, and can be a powerful way for us to center ourselves again. When we’re truly present in the moment, mealtimes become a fun and enjoyable part of the day again!

How to Start Mealtime Rituals

  • Pick out a designated dining spot. By eating at a designated dining spot, you create a clear separation between settling down for a meal and whatever it was you were doing before. You don’t need a fancy dinner table, but you do need a space where you’ll be able to focus solely on your food, and not things like the latest TV show or answering the phone.
  • Eat as a unit. Sharing a meal with the ones you love is very important; and it’ll help you create a more firmly fixed mealtime ritual. So make sure that you set aside some time on a weekly basis to enjoy a meal with your family members.
  • Be there. Paying attention is one of the best ways to enforce better eating habits. You need to engage all 5 of your senses when you’re eating; and focus all of your energy on what you’re doing in the present moment.
  • Pace it. Remember how your mother told you that you should put your fork down between bites of food? Well, she was right – it’s a crucial part of eating more mindfully. It doesn’t just help you control how much you’re eating, it also allows you to reconnect with your emotions while you’re eating.

Final Thoughts

While adopting mealtime rituals might seem like a big change, it can be one of the best decisions you ever make; making your meals more mindful and peaceful than before. I hope that you’ve enjoyed reading this post and that it’s inspired you to start making small changes in the way you treat your mealtimes.

Megan is a DIY health and beauty addict. She’s committed to making her itsy-bitsy apartment chemical free and her diet as unprocessed as possible. You can find her work at Gold Mountain Beauty where she is responsible for the blog, Instagram and Pinterest.