4.2018

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

chocolate

Mindful Chocolate Exercise

Some fun with chocolate and mindfulness. A seriously fabulous combination.

Mindfulness practice with dark chocolate: a perfect combination

Imagine this: a dark chocolate bar, wrapper opened, lying on the kitchen counter. You walk by, grab a square and gobble it up. It’s delicious, but you are left wanting. You hesitate for a moment before you take the second piece, and eat that one even more quickly, to sort of “get it over with”. Your brain is very happy with the chocolate buzz, but your stomach is not quite satisfied. That third square should just about do it…

Now, imagine those couple of moments of less-than-conscious indulgence in a different way–a more mindful way. The 1-inch square of dark chocolate is broken into 3 small but ample chunks. Take the first piece and hold it in your open palm. Sniff it. Lick it. Lick it again. Nibble off a bite, allowing it to melt slowly in your mouth. Feel your tastebuds come alive with the rich flavor. Take another, larger bite from the small piece. Roll it around your mouth with your tongue. Savor the sensuous texture, the incredibly delicious taste, the smell of the chocoate in your nose. Repeat this sensory experience with the next small piece. Take your time, let your brain, your mouth, your tongue, your nose, your throat all get in on this. The last small piece of the 1-inch, very healthy, good-for-you dark chocolate bar, is all yours! Don’t rush. Close your eyes as you let this deep pleasure take over…

How incredible was that mindful chocolate experience? Fantastic!

As I work with clients to faciliate behavior change that leads to their optimal lifestyle managment, I talk often about mindfulness. Being present in the moment allows for a richness of each experience that may be otherwise missed in our familiar hurry-up-to-get-it-done way of living. All aspects of our life can become a deeper and more meaningful experience if we choose to slow down a bit to be present with whatever it is we are doing. Whether it is folding laundry, cooking a meal, listening to our child describe his school day, or eating a 1-inch square of dark chocolate, we will be more satisfied after the fact, simply because we paid attention while we were in that moment.

Many people have a tendency to become over-fed at a meal. Choosing to eat with a mindful approach will keep your brain on par with your stomach, so you will not only be aware of satiation before you feel too full, but your level of pleasure will be increased during and after that meal. This is a key concept to healthy weight management.

Enjoy your square of dark chocolate!

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