In a recent on my mind monday blogpost I mentioned the book Savor: Mindful Eating Mindful Life by Thich Nhat Han. I’ve been learning a lot from it and have started to implement some of these practices in my own life. As one of my nutrition heros, Dr. Liz Lipski, author of Digestive Wellness, points out, we often eat the way we fuel our cars. Stop. Gas. Go. This is not a healthy choice and needs to be corrected.
One of the things that I have started to do is to begin by taking a moment for gratitude before each meal. I stop and reflect on those who planted, tended, grew, harvested, transported, and created the meal in front of me. I also give thanks for the provision of that meal, reflecting on how fortunate I am to be able to eat what I want, when I want, without a need to consider the cost of that meal as an obstacle to my nourishment. I then thank God, the food, and the universe for the blessings that sustain me. I’ve noticed that I feel much more satisfied with less food when I take that brief moment rather than digging in and rushing through my meal.
Biologically this makes sense; when you eat more slowly your body is better able to respond to the hormonal signals indicating satiety. Emotionally it also makes sense; if you have a deeper connection with your food you are able to satisfy more than just your appetite. All of this leads to more nourishment and more fulfillment.
My Aunt Haya wrote to me after she read the post and shared her thoughts which she has graciously allowed me to share here with you.
Even with the blinds drawn, I tend to wake soon after the sun rises which at this time of year is closer to 5 AM than 6. It is predicted to become very hot so I’m glad to be awake while it is still cool. I had looked forward to eating breakfast out on my large balcony, sitting in/on one of the director’s chairs now that I’ve brought home and attached their new fabric seats and back strips (of white/undyed) heavy cotton duck cloth. My computer indicates that “undyed” is misspelled, but when I right clicked to check this out it offers me “underfed” instead.
This leads me to your mention of Savor – the online reviews as well as your comments lead me to want to read it as well. In relation to mindfulness – I have been rereading Everyday Sacred by Sue Beder who’s Plain andSimple about her experiences among the Amish was an earlier favorite. Now this one which I’d initially not liked as much when I purchased it decades ago, is proving just what I currently want and need. I recommend it to you. I had been most impressed with Plain and Simple and reread it every few years, but considered Everyday Sacred of less import to me and read it only once. Opening it again I find it just what I want/need/appreciate now. It relates to what you’ve written about food, but in every area of one’s life.
The air is full of desert sand dust and the skies overcast. I’ll forgo, eating on the balcony, just looking at it through the wall of glass doors and windows while enjoying my fresh fruit salad. topped with muesli and yogurt. As “Savor” cautions though, on mornings at home, I thought I’d been enjoying glancing through the newly delivered newspaper during breakfast each morning, starting to puzzle out the crossword answers, I’d become unaware of flavors, textures and the process of chewing, so I am returning to focusing on eating rather than multi tasking, even while engaged in/with pleasurable activities.
In closing we have a video of Dr. Lillian Cheung, the co-author of Savor talking about mindful eating.