05/05/2020, Patrizia Bortolin, Preidlhof

Hippocrates said almost 2500 years ago “Leave your drugs in the chemist's pot if you can heal the patient with food."  ‘Food IS medicine’ and what Hippocrates, the father of Western Medicine, first decreed is now widely recognised by most people, and especially so by today’s leading experts in preventive health and functional medicine.

There are now so many, far too many, different diets, so many conflicting philosophies surrounding nutrition and what constitutes ‘healthy eating’.  This is terribly confusing and is it any wonder that so many people have a love-hate relationship with food and a constant battle with their health and their weight?  This daily conflict with food can be detrimental to our physical, emotional and mental health.  Indeed, our relationship with food also has such a big bearing on our social interaction and engagement in life – the Coronavirus lockdown will have only added to the daily dietary struggle for many people I fear.  

At Preidlhof, we are huge advocates of Mindful Eating.  Special attention is paid to the food experience during your stay with us. Going beyond dieting, our nutritional approach focuses more on the body’s intelligence and nature in South Tyrol.   We guide you so you really get to know and listen to your body, to reconnect with yourself.  The constant ‘exchange’ and interplay between the food you eat and your physical health, your mind, your emotions… these all help shape and determine our food choices, who we are, how we look, how we see ourselves, how we feel, also our relationship with others.   Food really can be transformative! 


We believe that food should be a highly pleasurable experience.  We guide our guests in the art of mindful eating.  We really want you to discover new richness and fresh perspectives through precious sharing, fascinating techniques and sensorial experiences.  You cannot come to one of the famous culinary regions in the world, to our part of Italy, without enjoying the food!  You CAN enjoy the food whilst ALSO adopting a more mindful eating approach that will result in more sustainable and longer-term transformative health results. 

Here are some tips and recommendations that you can try out at home, you can have fun turning it into an everyday ‘ritual’.  

  1. Adopt a positive state of mind when you prepare and cook food.  You can do this in silence or listen to some gentle, uplifting music.  Make sure your feet are firmly rooted to the ground and keep your back straight.   Loosen those shoulders.  Stay alert but relax. 
  2. Set your intention and your plan.  Are you cooking to create a sense of wonder for others or is to heal, treat the body
  3. Use all your senses to prepare the food and the table
  4. Eat slowly, be comfortably seated at a table.  You might do this in silence or in good company.   Before you sample the first mouthful, take a few seconds to imagine the taste sensation in your mouth, then smell the food and slowly start.  You are going to enjoy this and are in no rush.  
  5. Try to chew everything between 30 to 50 times... or set this as your goal.  This is harder than it might seem, it takes some practice, but keep practising.    
  6. Take a tour of all your senses whilst eating 
  7. When finally washing up the dishes, take this precious opportunity to stay relaxed and present.  Enjoy being in the moment. 

The benefits of this simple practice have been demonstrated to achieve longer lasting health results, and they can be easily integrated into everyday life, never more so than now. 

About the Author

Patrizia Bortolin is the Spa Director at Preidlhof and a specialist in sensorial analysis and Mindful Eating, she coordinates this with the other therapists, doctors and trainers at Preidlhof.

If this blog has got you interested in starting your wellness journey call our wellness advisors at 020 7843 3597 or enquire here.

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