Sensorial eating is when you eat with all five senses
With the whole pursuit of seeking experiences over materialistic pleasures being at stake in the wake of the current pandemic, why not look for experiences in our daily lives and embrace slow living.
Eating food has been one of the most taken for granted activities, almost like a daily chore that needs to be ticked off. You could be one of those busy Millennials who either forget to eat and skip meals or mindlessly re-order the same dish you liked a week back on your most used food delivery app and gobble it up without paying much heed to it once it hits your doorstep. You could also be one of those globetrotting Gen Xer whose life can be encapsulated in three words – tech travel eat. You’re glued to your devices (or should I say email) all day, you keep travelling for business and are never in the same time zone for more than a dozen days at a time and you set alarms for meals before taking that insulin shot. Because if you don’t, then who will run the show? You could also be one of those who counts each morsel of food ingested and even with your love – hate relationship with it you fail to fall in love with your own self.
We often hear the saying, we are what we eat and well, the Indian science of Ayurveda takes it a step ahead to say we are what we can digest. But how can we put ourselves first if we simply do not invest enough into what we put into ourselves? When you hear the simple action word eat or eating, you either relate it to binge eating to deal with that looming emptiness in your life or clean eating where food lays the pathway for you to lose weight and in turn look good and in turn feel more wanted by others.
However, since we’re going back to the basics in so many ways, why not treat eating as an experience in itself. In an age where our Instagram captions read – Indoors is the new outdoors, the one activity which should be looked forward to and be equated with pleasure and gratitude is eating. Mindful eating is all about waking up your senses to the beauty of food which is almost like culture in a plate. You do not need a souvenir from a place you travelled to if you can simply enjoy it’s food from the comfort of your home. You need not look at a picture of your grandmother to remember her if you just relish her time tested recipe with the rest of your family on the dinner table. Good food brings back great memories and is a frequent dose of dopamine (the happy hormone) for us.
So, the question is what
is sensorial eating and how does it have the potential to be the next big food
trend? Sensorial eating involves all the five senses of smell,
sight, sound, touch and taste more or less in that order.
1. The best part about good food is it’s alluring aroma and that is often why we are encouraged to have hot meals over cold food as only when the heat seeps deeper into the food is when it emanates the best aroma.
2. The whole art of plating up your meals so that they look appetizing enough is not just “Insta-worthy” but also helps you eat with your eyes first. In a way when we feed our body through all our senses we depend less on just the sense of taste to fill our souls with what we crave. This also aids intuitive eating, much like a little baby who is suckling milk off his/ her mother’s bosom and knows exactly when to stop. We were born with this intuition before we chose to get distracted with everything else.
3. The sound of eating could have divided opinions. You could be one of those who loves to slurp on a hot beverage from a paper cup or an ice cold Frappuccino through a straw or loves to chomp off a pizza from your plate with a conspicuous chewing sound that may push some of your dear ones away at dinner. However, who cares as long as you’re feeding your ears! There could be another group of people who enjoy the clink of forks and knives on their china bone crockery and revel in the clinking of champagne flutes to the sound of Cheers! And Bon Appétit!
4. A lot of cultures and traditions emphasize on cooking and preparing food with your hands and also eating it with your hands. While there is always the awkwardness of using your cutlery and chopsticks right, eating rice and curry or even a slice of pizza with hands just helps break the ice. It’s almost like feeling the texture of your food with your own hands that helps add to the burst of flavours in your mouth.
5. Then is the moment where your taste buds are tickled, quite literally. The sensation of taste should evoke the highest level of gratitude within a person enjoying the food than any other bodily sense. It also helps release all the digestive juices and raises the red flag to stop eating when the tummy is full. While there are many who have carved out methods on how to chew your food, how much time should you take to eat, much like the PIQUANTE method for wine tasting! The key however, is to eat what you like, eat it in silence and without the presence of any screens. Think of the story that is built in your system with each bite from your plateful of nourishment. That is the best distraction that could get you less distracted!
While we all struggle with healthy eating and love to complicate things by counting calories and sticking to weird diet regimes. The simplest path to being in harmony with the food you eat is to simply experience it. Currently, while we are all stuck at home most of the time, this is one habit we can effortlessly develop and help our mind, body and soul go with the slow.