I love introducing mindful eating to group meditation sessions. I usually use raisins or dates, and the reactions are always astounding.
I ask meditators to hold a single raisin/date in their hand. Then ask them to look at it. What are its colors? Its textures? Does it have a smell? I remind the meditators to check their breathing. Have you become tense, or are your relaxed? What thoughts have come up? Are there memories associated to this little piece of fruit?
Meditators are instructed to bite half of the fruit, and to hold a piece in their mouth. What does it taste like? Does it taste like it looks? Notice any tension in your shoulders, in your neck, in your jaw, in your gut. Are you breathing?
Swallow the fruit. What tastes remain? How do you feel? Check in with your breathing.
The meditation repeats until the complete raisin/date has been consumed. Some people have a real aversion to dried fruit, and the meditation makes them squirm. Others have a desire to eat the whole raisin/date all at once and ignore the meditation. It doesn’t matter what the reaction is, the point is to notice the reaction, to stay in the present moment, and to try and eat mindfully.
Try just one meal a day with the television, smart phone, and all other electronics switched off. Allow yourself to eat with all your attention focused on the act of savoring the food, chewing, swallowing, and letting it settle.
What do you notice?