At Achieve True Health, we recommend a mindful approach to eating. First, we invite people to cultivate a sense of gratitude for the food they receive. Next, we suggest that they think about where their food came from. This fosters an awareness of how interconnected we all are, from farmer, to grocer, to buyer. It can also help us to determine whether or not our food is genuinely organic.

When you think about it, the act of consuming food and drink is actually one of our most intimate experiences. We take nourishment from the world around us into our bodies, and the nutrients we assimilate become a vital part of us. Paying close attention to this process can be a deeply spiritual practice. Here are some steps you can take to make this a reality:

Breathe deeply: Fully oxygenating your body is a natural way to enhance your nutrition. Take four deep breaths before each meal. Through the nose, breathe in for a count of four, retain the air for a count of four, and then breathe out for a count of six. Oxygen is a key nutrient and a must for achieving the most powerful metabolism possible. When you breathe fully, you affirm that you are present with your food and committed to your vitality.

Relax: The more you relax, the better you will digest, assimilate, and metabolize your food. Being physiologically and mentally relaxed creates your ideal nutritional state. Most of us need to relax more, trust more, play more. Commit to inner peace and a mental and physical stillness, especially when you’re eating.

Slow down: Slow is the speed that best regulates our natural appetites. It moves the body into a parasympathetic-dominant state, which is ideal for metabolic supremacy. Take more time with meals, let go of the rush. We’re used to running from activity to activity; we need to slow down to value the experience of eating with our loved ones.

Feel nourished: Let food warm you, feed you, and nourish you. Allow each meal to touch a place of deep satisfaction within. Nourishing yourself is a great form of self-care.

Be present: Whenever you eat, be aware of your meal, giving the food the presence it deserves. Attend to your body. Keep your mind in the here and now. Capture every eating moment. Forget about multitasking and focus on eating.

Take pleasure in your nourishment: Pleasure is a nutritional requirement, a potent metabolic force, and an agent of health. Taking pleasure in your food catalyzes metabolic efficiency. Welcome pleasure to the table always.

Celebrate: Food is life. It reminds you that you are here to live, to enjoy, and to celebrate. Allow your meals to be a time when you smile and share with loved ones. It is a time to celebrate and feel gratitude for the miracle of life.

Listen: Your body is speaking to you and asking you to listen. It offers generous insights about how and what you eat. Listen to your body. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.

Let go: Once you have eaten, let go. Give all your worries a rest. Release unkind thoughts about your weight and your body. Food invites you to embrace it fully and let go.

Be thankful: You have been gifted with food. Allow gratitude to be an essential ingredient in each morsel of food you eat. Life has given you so much; the time to be grateful is always in the present.