Friday, June 11, 2010

Eating with Grace

I am on the bus heading to New York City for the 6th weekend of classes! We just made the obligatory rest stop at a choice fast food chain. I went out to stretch my legs and sat back down and started observing fellow passengers eating their value meals at a table outside. Well, if you can call it eating... It was more like shoveling, inhaling, and stuffing as much down their throat as quickly as possible. It's not like they couldn't bring the food on the bus!

Have you ever mindlessly eaten or inhaled a meal? Do you remember how it tasted? Or do you only remember being hungry not long after?

Part of our food crisis, aside from the fast food mentioned (that's a whole other post), is that we don't appreciate food anymore! Food or food type products are plentiful and a lot of us have the ability to afford and eat 3 square meals a day. Food is taken for granted. We don't sit down and share a meal with our loved ones anymore. Instead, we grab whatever we can reach in the fridge or freezer, unwrap it, pop it in the microwave while we open a Coke, and inhale our food in between chugging our soda.

Food needs to return to being the focus of the meal. Sure, having family and friends around the table is wonderful as well. But even when eating alone, we shouldn't try to distract ourselves by watching TV or reading a magazine. We should treat our meals as special moments. There are several ways to start honoring your food. Try there and notice the physical and emotional benefits from it.

Eat without Distractions: Put away the book and smart phone and turn off the laptop and computer. We are always on the move. By only eating when eating, we'll start associating the time we eat with times of peace. This will do wonders if you are over eating, constantly hungry or experience stomach pains after eating. It's also good for those of us stressed in general.

Chew and Chew Again: Take time to enjoy your food. Chew it until it basically becomes liquid. It's not the best image, but this is extremely beneficial to those of us who aren't absorbing nutrients from our food, experiencing digestive issues like bloating, gas, and constipation, and over eating.

Say Grace...or something: I'm not a particularly religious person. But I'm definitely getting more in touch with my spiritual side as I learn more about myself and also, as I've cleaned up my diet. I believe the act saying grace or any act of expressing thankfulness for our food was developed because our ancestors respected the food on the table and wanted to recognize the importance of it. Saying grace or taking a moment of silence before a meal doesn't happen anymore. But farmers are still working hard to raise livestock and grow produce. And someone is still cooking or putting together your meals.

Let's all take time out this weekend to appreciate our food. Thank the person who prepared it and savor it. Chew it thoroughly and enjoy the flavors and textures. Eat and only eat.

Watch out for future posts on this topic as I will definitely be returning to it often because I don't think we will make this change overnight and can always use the reminder.

Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. I am the slowest eater on the planet for that enjoy food tho I've found it hard to do so in the past few years. Eating is always accompanied by something else that distracts: tv, work, laptop etc. I literally cannot eat alone comfortably without doing something else at the same time.

    I love going out to eat and having the whole dinner convo being dominated by "how good/bad the food is..." but I'm meeting more and more picky eaters :( It's hard to just enjoy.