Mindful eating with Michael James Wong
Many of us have heard of mindfulness, but how do we go about incorporating it into our daily routines? What does it mean to eat mindfully?
We asked mindfulness guru Michael James Wong, founder of wellbeing project and meditation app Just Breathe, for some expert insight.
Fg: Hey Michael! How can we reach a state of mindfulness?
MJW: Mindfulness is less about reaching and more about being. It is being aware and simply noticing things as they are, with less judgement and more clarity. One of the easiest ways to create a sense of mindfulness is to focus on your breath. You don’t need to control it or move it in any special way, just notice the breath moving in and out of your body. The next time things feel a bit challenging or your mind feels cluttered, take a moment to close your eyes, be still and Just Breathe.
Fg: Where can we incorporate mindfulness in our daily routines?
MJW: Mindfulness for the real world is the foundation of Just Breathe: you can incorporate mindfulness everywhere in your daily routines. All it takes is slowing doing so you can pay attention to what you’re doing. When you make your cuppa in the morning: rub the loose tea or bag between your fingers, listen as the water pours out of the kettle, watch as the tea expands, smell as you lift the mug to take a sip, swirl the tea around your mouth to really taste it. You can do the same with coffee. Brushing your teeth can become mindful, doing the dishes, folding the laundry. Often as we move through our daily routines we do so with less consideration because they’ve become habitual and things we simply need to do on our way to doing something else. Start by choosing one daily routine to be more mindful during and see what changes.
Fg: What is mindful eating and how can we put it into practice?
MJW: Mindful eating is still about noticing, however we are now bringing our attention to our food. While the sensory experience described above making a cuppa can be applied to any food or drink, mindful eating can also include considering the environmental impact of where our food is sourced as well as how we consume and waste it, what food choices we make and how this affects our body, and being present while we prepare our meals and eat them. Often we multi task during mealtime and sometimes this is necessary, but you can still take a quiet moment to pause and notice the crunch of a carrot, the layered spices of a curry, the sweetness of a beet. Again, focus on one way to bring mindfulness into your eating experience and observe what happens next.
The Just Breathe app offers daily meditations - without endless scrolling. Each day they share one new 8 minute practice, making it easy to start a regular habit. There are different styles to choose from, a full meditation library, and a personal profile to follow your progress.
Feelgood Kitchen has teamed up with Just Breathe to offer you a 3 month free trial of the app. Simply head to www.justbreatheproject.com and enter the code feelgood@justbreathe to begin your journey to zen!