My experience with eating mindfully was not as I had expected. My suspicion was that I would enjoy eating slow for a change and savor the food that I had prepared for class. I made a ham and cheese sandwich, with no condiments, on 100% whole wheat bread. Just the way I like it. I packed a string cheese, an apple, a bottle of water, and a handful of trail mix consisting of mixed peanuts, dried cranberries, and chocolate, white chocolate, peanut butter, and butterscotch chips. On a normal day, I would have loved to devour this whole meal.
As the mindful practice began, I grabbed my sandwich with two hands and presented it to my nose to be tested. I was surprised with what I discovered. Having never really smelled a sandwich before, I was put off. My senses were upset, but I mindfully bit off a small section of the sandwich and rolled it around in my mouth. Immediately my mouth became dry and the taste engulfed my senses. As quickly as I put the sandwich in my mouth, I wanted to spit it out. But, as the practice says, we must try everything once. Each chew was worse than the first. The foul taste filled my mouth. The over-processed ham was the worst! The bits of fat were haunting my every bite. And was that really American cheese? I think not now! The thin yellowish blob of slime took on a different form. Only a couple bites into it and I had resented my “plain” sandwich now.
I had never experienced this type of disappointment with my food before. Something that was once tasteful to me was revealed in its true form. Disgusting, over-processed foods. I had suddenly realized that after 30 years of eating, I never fully knew what I had been putting in my body.