Go ahead, enjoy!

Meals certainly nourish our bodies, but are you aware that they also nourish the soul?  Yup. Enjoying a healthy meal not only makes your tummy feel good, it also makes your head and heart feel good, too.

But, to get the maximum benefit of the meal you need to do a couple of things…simple things.

Watch this week’s vlog for 2 great ways to assure you enjoy your food, and then read on for 7 additional tips that will make meal time extra delicious.  Then leave me a comment with your thoughts and any additional tips.

Tip 1: Be present at the table

9 ways to enjoy your foodBefore you take a single bite of any meal, sit down, slow down and get ready to enjoy.

  • See the colors, shapes, and textures on your plate.
  • Smell all of the different scents coming from your plate.

After you get your mouth watering, take one bite and simply savor it. Taste all of the flavors, be conscious of how it feels in your mouth, chew it slowly and then enjoy the taste it leaves in your mouth after you swallow.

Tip 2: Set the table

While you might not have time or desire for a fancy “tablescape” for every meal, another easy way to add enjoyment to eating is to make the environment in which you are eating enjoyable too.   A tablecloth, cloth napkins, candles, pretty plates and glasses make any meal feel special, and special meals are usually quite enjoyable.

Tip 3: Simplify preparation

Enjoying a meal is easier when you are not exhausted from preparing it!  There are a couple of ways to simplify meal prep. First, several times a week create a menu of items that have 5 or fewer ingredients each.  Simple food can be very satisfying…especially when you take time to taste all of the ingredients.

Since you don’t want to eat super simple meals every night, take time on the weekend to shop, chop, and prep ingredients that you will use later in the week.  When all you have to do is combine ingredients, heat, and serve, you’ll find you are less frazzled at meal time and can really enjoy the meal and the company.

Tip 4: Don’t simplify preparation

Every once in a while it is a blast to make a meal a really special event. You can literally enjoy the meal for a week while you plan and prepare.  Pick a theme and healthy options that fall within it. Then do your planning, shopping, and your preparation knowing that everyone at the table will enjoy the fruits (and veggies!) of your labor.

Tip 5: Get others involved

Preparing meals and setting the table can be a chore, but with friends it becomes fun. Enlist the help of your family and dinner guests with preparations (and clean up) and you’ll all enjoy the meal more.

Tip 6: Step out of your normal flavor profile

Spice up your foodLearn a little about spices and flavorings and transform common dishes into something new and different.  Click here to get 3 infographic guides about spices.

Tip 7:  Right-size your portions

I know, sometimes it’s difficult to get enough of a good thing and so we fill our plates and stuff ourselves.  Not good… not enjoyable at all.  So I encourage you to take small portions of each item and really savor them.  You can go back for more later if you are still hungry.

Tip 8:  Put your fork down between bites

If you have never done this you’ll be very surprised when you do.  Simply putting down your fork while you chew and enjoy your food changes everything. You become relaxed and instantly tune in to what’s in your mouth versus what’s still on your plate.

When you follow this tip you actually eat more slowly which gives your head time to catch up to your stomach.  It allows you to stop eating before you’ve eaten too much so you enjoy your meal during and after you eat.

Tip 9: Take a walk after your meal

Many experts believe that taking a walk after an evening meal has many benefits including  aiding in digestion, boosting metabolism, controlling blood sugar, improving blood circulation, and helping you sleep.

So rather than plopping onto the couch with remote control in hand, take a quick spin around the block. Think about the meal you just had and savor it a little longer.

Did I miss anything?

I bet I did!  Leave a comment with your tips on how to enjoy a meal. I can’t wait to see what you have to say.

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