Five Tips To Help You Better Enjoy Your Meal

Okay, okay. If you’re reading this, chances are you know how to eat a meal. However, you may find that a few of these tips help you enjoy your meal a bit more and maybe digest more smoothly.

  1. Sit down when eating.
    I sound like your parents, don’t I? (If you mentally heard your first and middle name when you read that, you get bonus points.) Sitting helps us relax and relaxation is good for eating. When we stand, our body is subconsciously on guard, ready to run at the first sight of a saber-toothed cat or some other ferocious beast.
  2. Put down the fork between each bite. 
    This one can be difficult – especially for the person who feels like they are constantly on the run. Try it. Fork up to lips. Put down the fork. Chew, chew, chew, chew… chew, chew, chew. And swallow. Now, pick up the fork, and put more food on it. And repeat the process. Also, don’t overload your fork. The food will be there. Unless you’re sitting next to my great-aunt. Most of the food will still be there. Take at most three fork-fulls of one food item and then move on to the next. This is just proper manners.
  3. Turn off the television and put away the technology.
    Your favorite sitcom or football team can wait. If you have DVR, record it to watch later. Be present. Be present to the food – someone worked hard to make it for you. Be present to others – the dining table has always been the backbone of the home. If you live alone, still put it down. It distracts us from eating and keeps us in a stressed environment. Instead, turn on your favorite mellow music, light a few candles, and enjoy your quiet and relaxing evening. (For an added challenge – turn off the internet and power down your phones!)
  4. Don’t eat alone.
    We’re communal creatures and we gather around a table together. If you find that you eat alone, consider it your challenge in life to organize potlucks, or you and four other friends take a night a week to cook. Each night, you go to a new house, enjoy a meal, help with dishes and then go home (unless the meal is at your house). Bonus: You only have to cook one night a week and you get to see your friends!
  5. Eat dessert first.
    Yes. I said that. This has to be my favorite tip ever. Eating food that is higher in carbs before the heavier foods primes the system for digestion. This isn’t to say that dessert is a MASSIVE piece of chocolate cake topped with chocolate buttercream frosting. That’s just a heart attack on a plate. Instead, have fun experimenting with seasonal fruit, fancy hard cheese, and dark chocolate.
  6. Be present.
    So I lied. You get six tips – this one is just too important to ignore. Be present. Allow yourself to truly be there with your family and friends, pushing aside deadlines, cranky bosses, traffic woes, bills, and you-name-it, out of your mind. I know it’s easier said than done. I know that it won’t be done immediately. But give it a try.