Pudding is a wonderful food, but a tough one to eat mindfully. You don’t have to chew it, it’s smooth and delicious, and it can slide down your gullet just about as fast as you can spoon it in.
Here are a few techniques for bringing some measure of mindfulness to the act of eating your pudding.
First, as we do with any food, arrive at the pudding. Smell it deeply. Notice its appearance: color, texture, reflections, patterns, swirls, etc. Take a moment and imagine yourself eating the pudding as mindfully as you can.
Pick up your spoon mindfully and dip it into the pudding. The goal here is to put pudding in the spoon but not to fill the spoon completely. In other words, when the spoon emerges from the pudding, you should be able to see at least a little portion of the bowl of the spoon around the top edges. This technique forces you to become aware of the mechanics of putting the food on your spoon.
Put the spoon in your mouth and as you remove the pudding from the spoon with your lips, take care that the spoon comes out of your mouth completely clean. This brings your concentration to the act of eating.
Before you continue with the pudding in your mouth, put the spoon down. If you can, place the spoon upside down on top of the pudding dish or bowl—this is to remind you to stay in the moment through the entire portion of pudding.
Slowly move the pudding across your mouth, coating all surfaces. Swallow a portion of the pudding and note the burst of any flavors. Let the pudding in your mouth and extra moment before you swallow it all, tasting it deeply.
Pause before you take the next spoon of pudding. If you can, clear your palate with a very small sip of water.
Continue on with this procedure, bite by bite, putting your spoon down each time and clearing between bites.
If possible, leave the last bit of pudding uneaten as a token of your understanding that you have control over how much you’re eating.
These techniques can also be used with any soft foods, such as gelatin, tapioca, ice cream, sherbet, sorbet and flan.