Mindful Eating

 In Nutrition/Healthy Holidays

If you ask any of the many famous Chefs from around the world we are confident that they would tell you something similar to what Jose Andres, Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Foundation, said:

“Food is about interacting with ingredients. If you talk to them, they will always tell you a story.” (1)

So, with this mind let’s take a lesson from this outstanding chef.

Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation and other training. (2)

So, what is mindful eating? What is it like to experience food? What is it like to spend quality time with your food? Does your food tell you a story?

Mindful eating means not just to eat. It means you should bring attention to the eating experience, spend quality time with your food, have the ingredients tell you a story.

How can you do this?

1) Start with small steps…. make eating pleasurable…. so while you eat try not to watch TV, talk, text, use your computer, play games or do any of the many other distractions we commonly do while eating.

2) Keep in mind your eating cycle and keep a diary if it helps, ask yourself: Why do I eat? When do I eat?  What do I eat? How do I eat?  How much do I eat? Where do I eat?

3) Focus on the food experience.  Resist the urge to just chow down your meal or eat “Fast Foods”, enjoy every morsel, every crumb, every bite.

4) Reflect on your eating experiences, be mindful. Enjoy the textures, flavors, colors and aromas of your food before and as you eat them. Open your mind, eyes and taste buds to your meals.

5) Be mindful of the nourishment the food is providing you and be mindful of the skills needed to grow and prepare the ingredients in a way that is enjoyable and nutritious.

Finally, enjoy the interacting of the ingredients and let them tell you a story!

Laura Mularz, Lisa Ertle, Tracey Jaworski-Lucas and the Healthy Nurses Healthy New Jersey Team


  1. Quote from: Jose Andres (Named “Outstanding Chef” by the James Beard Foundation and recognized by Time magazine on the “Time 100” list of most influential people in the world, José Andrés is an internationally- recognized culinary innovator, passionate advocate for food. Wikipedia)
  2. Mars, M., & Oliver, M. (2016). Mindfulness is more than a buzz word: Towards a sustainable model of health care. Journal of the Australian Traditional-Medicine Society, 22(1), 7-10.
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