Introduction to the Practice of Mindful Eating with C.A.R..E
Eating is a remarkable process, providing sustenance, energy, and pleasure to our bodies, hearts, and minds. However, in our fast-paced lives, we often find ourselves eating on autopilot, disconnected from the experience of nourishing ourselves. Mindful eating offers a beautiful and transformative way to integrate mindfulness into our daily lives.
Imagine sitting down to a meal and savoring each bite with full awareness - appreciating the flavors and textures and feeling gratitude for the food on your plate. Mindful eating can bring joy to nourishing yourself. It can also improve digestion and foster a deeper connection with the food you choose and consume.
We apply the C.A.R.E Model, adapted from Jesse Foy’s original concept, to facilitate this practice of mindful eating. It encourages us to slow down and engage with food more fully, cultivating wisdom and compassion for the remarkable and life-sustaining process of eating.
Incorporating mindful eating with C.A.R.E. into your life might start with allowing extra time to eat without distractions. Over time, this practice can become a regular and enriching part of your eating experience.
Before taking a bite, actively inviting a felt sense of calm in the body. It can be helpful to take a few deeper breaths.
Collecting your attention and slowing the momentum of body and mind to connect to the food in front of you.
As you begin to eat, engaging all your senses. Observing the colors, shapes, sizes, temperatures, textures, and even sounds of the food as you chew. Tuning in to the sensations in your body.
Taking note of your emotional state regarding the food and the act of eating.
Accepting whatever feelings and emotions arise with kindness and without judgment.
While eating, being attentive to any habitual or conditioned patterns of eating that emerge. Recognizing your motivations for choosing this specific food and eating in this particular way.
Pausing and reflecting on the food’s origin, processing, and the people involved in providing and preparing it. Considering the interconnectedness of this food with the sustenance of life.
Bringing your attention to the holistic experience of eating. Noticing the changing body sensations, feelings, thoughts, and emotions throughout the entire process.
Considering how mindful eating aligns with your intentions for a healthy and mindful approach to food choices.
Observing how this practice of mindful eating influences your relationship with food, supporting a healthier and more wholesome connection with eating.
It can be helpful to end a mindful eating practice with intentions of Loving Kindness:
May this food nourish my body, heart, and mind.
May all beings who took part in providing this food for me be safe and well.