Here are some methods for helping yourself to slow down your eating by creating pauses:

1. Pause before beginning the meal. Look at each item of food, taking it in with the eyes. Notice colors, textures, shapes, arrangement on the plate or bowl.

2. Take a moment to say grace. Thank the animals, plants, and people who brought this food to you. Be aware of their gifts as you eat.

3. Begin the meal by pausing to inhale the fragrance of the food. Imagine that you are being nourished by just the smell.

4. Eat food like a wine connoisseur tastes wine. First sniff the food, enjoying the bouquet. Then take a small taste. Roll it around in the mouth, savoring it. What ingredients can you detect? Chew slowly and swallow. Take a sip of water to cleanse the palate. When the mouth is empty of food and flavor, repeat the process.

5. If you notice that you are eating without tasting, stop and pause to look at the food again.

-Jan Chozen Bays, “Mindful Eating,” Tricycle, Summer 2009

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