Eat mindfully (and with gratitude) this holiday season.

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Mindfulness is an essential element of Buddhist practice which is often employed in psychology to alleviate troubling conditions such as obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety, and to aid in the prevention of drug relapse and depression.

Mindfulness is all about being aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations in the present moment. With practice, you learn to free yourself of negative, habitual patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting.

Mindful eating brings the principles of mindfulness to the dinner table. When we are purposefully aware of our eating we chew slowly, deliberately noticing the sensations and our responses to those sensations. We eat quietly. We notice our mind wandering and we purposefully bring our attention back to the meal. With practice, we become aware of hunger and satiety and allow our bodies to dictate when we should eat and when we should stop.

Emotional eating and binge eating are leading causes of obesity. Mindfulness at the dinner table combats those triggers.

It takes 20 minutes from the time you start eating for your brain to send out signals of fullness. This holiday season eat slowly. Enjoy the company around the table. Put down your fork between bites and share stories. Slowing down over a holiday meal gives your body time to feel full and your spirit time to be thankful.

Forward Counseling is currently offering a Food/Body/Soul group. In it we teach relaxation, promote movement, and practice mindful eating. We come together over a healthful, wholesome meal to nourish our bodies and our souls. We are thankful for the food and for the fellowship. To register, complete an appointment form online at

Learn more about Food/Body/Soul at

Written by Catherine Clubb-Brown, Forward Counseling intern

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