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Food & Nutrition

New Jersey Hospital Employees Institute Mindful Eating Program

A group of employees at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, N.J., started a program where employees gather in a conference room once per week to eat together in silence, based on Buddhist meditation practices, NorthJersey.com reported.

Linda Buckley, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at the hospital, who started the program, told the newspaper it took her more than 30 minutes to finish half of her chicken salad sandwich.

“Eating quietly is a different experience. It’s really slowing down and noticing each bite. You can really be attentive to the flavors, textures and smells,” she said.

Buckley also shared the following tips on practicing mindful eating:

– Before taking the first bite, take one deep breath.

– Chew slowly. It doesn’t have to be 40 times, but remember to breathe and take your time while chewing your food.

– Practice eating in silence, with no television, music or conversation.

– What should you be thinking about? Nothing in particular. Just focus on the moment and the sensation of tasting the food.

– It takes 20 minutes until your stomach sends the message to your brain that you’re full. Eating slowly will allow you to better intuit when you’re full.

For more information, visit The Center for Mindful Eating, which offers online seminars and more.

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