Those of you who have recently come to the CAMP System will soon have the wonderful experience of facing a Thanksgiving meal for the first time as a mindful eater. Using the ideas developed in CAMP, you can enjoy the entire meal completely and thoroughly, probably more than anyone else at the table. Plus, you won’t be left with that awful sensation where you feel more stuffed than the turkey.
For all individuals, here are some tips and techniques to help make this Thanksgiving meal--or any large, bountiful meal---one to remember.
Don’t deny yourself any food. Remind yourself that all foods are available to you for your enjoyment.
Don’t deny yourself extra helpings—seconds and thirds are perfectly acceptable.
Put small portions of all foods on your plate. Imagine each portion to be about six-bites’ worth. Leave some space visible on your plate.
Cut your food up into bite size pieces before you begin eating.
Be sure to put your silverware down while you chew each bite.
Take you time and chew each bite completely. Pay attention to the act of eating. Enjoy your food.
If you find that you’re getting full before your plate is empty, stop. Leave room for dessert.
If you finish your plate and you want more food, wait a few minutes before getting more.
For seconds, thirds, etc., put only three-bites’ worth of each food you select on your plate.
If you feel full and still have food on your plate, it’s okay not to finish it.
Remember: there will always be more food later. You don’t have to have it all now.
Eat dessert in the same careful way. Select enough of dessert for four to six bites. Enjoy it completely; chew it thoroughly. You can have more, but give yourself at least a half an hour before you have seconds on dessert.
Thanksgiving reminds us to develop profound gratitude for food, its origins and all the hard work and sacrifice that goes into its production, harvest, transport, sale and preparation. The lessons that Thanksgiving teaches are those that we can use all year, each meal, each bite.
We honor food when we eat only that which nourishes us and a quantity of food that matches our needs. When we eat with inattention, Thanksgiving meals often show us, in very real terms, what happens when we become gluttonous and eat far past our limits. Such eating actually is the opposite of the spirit of Thanksgiving—to be especially observant of the value and purpose of our food.
This Thanksgiving, make it a conscious decision to honor your food and, in so doing, to honor yourself.