Premium Experience Eating

My client, Kate, lives in New York City and eats out a lot as part of her job and her social life. Kate often finds herself at restaurants with delicious-looking desserts or at cocktail parties with vast arrays of food, constantly having to decide what to eat and what not to eat. When Kate started working on the skill of eating slowly and mindfully, for the first time in a very long time she told me she realized that not all food tasted as good as it looked or tasted as good as she thought it would taste.

Kate described a recent experience she had where she was eating a chicken salad sandwich on fruit and nut bread. Kate does not like walnuts, and as she was eating, she realized that there were walnuts inwoman eating sandwich the bread. Kate took a moment to really taste the bread and decided that it wasn’t worth eating because she didn’t enjoy it very much. Kate and I discussed the fact that this type of thing can only happen when one is eating mindfully. If Kate had not been tuned in to the taste of the bread, she would have assumed that because it looked good, it tasted good, too. She would have eaten the whole sandwich and never quite realized that she didn’t even enjoy it that much. Because she was eating so mindfully, Kate was able to stop eating the bread and not feel even the slightest bit deprived, because she knew she didn’t really like it.

Kate termed this, “premium experience eating.” If something is truly delicious— if it’s a premium experience— then she will eat it and really enjoy it. If something is not that good, and just not worth eating, then she won’t. Kate realized that recognizing premium experience eating is helpful at cocktail parties and buffets when she encounters lots of food. Chances are very high that not all of it will be a premium experience, and realizing this will help Kate eat less without feeling deprived.

This may be a strategy that works for you, too. If something is a premium experience, then make sure you really savor it. It’s worth it! If it’s not a premium experience, then don’t bother. But keep in mind, discerning whether something is a premium experience only happens with mindful eating, so make sure you slow down and really pay attention to flavors as you eat.

6 replies
  1. Sheila Warren
    Sheila Warren says:

    Thank you for this article. I never considered or even thought of “mindful” eating as an adult, after being raised as a child to “Eat “everything” on your plate, like it or not, because it is good for you.”

    Reply
  2. Nancy E Field
    Nancy E Field says:

    This works well for chocolate. Some is not really very good and some is wonderful. It is easier to turn away from lower quality chocolate.

    Reply
    • dana
      dana says:

      Yes it is!!! I have acquired a taste for fine chocolate. i can walk past (not always, but most times) a co-workers bowl of cheap chocolate. but i savor and enjoy a good decadent chocolate truffle. i will take a little truffle and cut it in 4 and savor every morsel.

      Reply
  3. Marcia
    Marcia says:

    This was a great article. Many things I think will taste good really don’t. I’m going to be a lot more choosy in the future!

    Reply
  4. Lyn Fry
    Lyn Fry says:

    The same is true of wine. I’ve stopped drinking any old wine and only go for the premium experience. You might as well drink water as rubbish wine.

    Reply
  5. Marsha
    Marsha says:

    My first experience in mindful eating was in sixth grade. I was slowly savoring my peanut butter and jelly sandwich when the teacher in charge of the lunchroom came over and bawled me out for eating so slowly because she needed me to leave and go out to recess so she could go on her break. I then hurriedly stuffed the rest of my sandwich in my mouth and went out to play. (Now, as an adult I understand the teacher’s need for a break, but it was upsetting to me as a child.) Thus began decades of automatic eating. I’ve learned to slow down again and if I’m in company often have to excuse myself for being a slow eater. Nonetheless, it’s a hard practice to apply to everyday life, but a valuable one.

    Reply

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