Why How You Eat is as Important as What You Eat

Food – It’s all about taste for me, fresh, super fresh, picked that day, dirt still clinging, peak tastiness.  I love going to the farm to pick up my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share or to any of the local farmers markets.

Visiting the farm and having a couple of moments with nature brings me great joy and is one of my favorite ways to de-stress. Smelling the tomatoes as I pick them or talking to the farmers at the markets and building relationships brings me closer to what I am eating. The farmers know which lettuce I like and sometimes if I’m running late,  they’ll save the micro greens that the boys and I fight over.

When we get everything home it is almost like opening gifts at the holidays. I’m thinking about what I can make and what new recipe I’ve been meaning to try. Yum! Obviously food shopping is fun for me.

Chop. Slice. Shred.

My years of catering and running a business as a personal chef taught me how to cook quickly and efficiently, however it became more about the process of getting it done instead of enjoying the process of making something delicious.

These days I’m not focused on just getting it done. Cooking has become meditation, an art.  Everything from choosing local fresh produce and talking with farmers to standing in the grocery store in the dead of winter looking for the least shriveled sweet potatoes makes a difference in how I feel. For me there is no way to better share my joy and passion than cooking something amazing.  Creating even the most simple 30 minute meal becomes a pleasure even when it is only for one or shared with many.

Frequently the boys cook with me. Brian is turning into the grill master this summer. We set the stage. Get all our stuff out, talk about what we are making and what flavors we want to meld. Music is vital for us. Sometimes we listen to something really low key, and sometimes we are rockin’ it out with a great beat. But it’s about slowing down from our busy day and creating the mood. Positive energy flowing between me and what I’m preparing, being one with it. Having fun and enjoying the moment.

The mood and energy are transferred to what we are eating. Most nights we eat together. We talk, laugh, and relax. We take the time to taste our food, chew it and give our bodies the time to recognize what we are eating, so that our brains can let us know when we are full. We are digesting our food and the nutrients are absorbed so we feel energized, vibrant.  We are satisfied.

In a time of hurry up, do it faster, like yesterday, having a few minutes to eat slowly may seem like a lot. And some nights just getting it done may be all the energy you can muster, but whether you are a foodie or not, love cooking or would rather never step foot in a kitchen, consider shifting your thoughts about how you eat.  Make it a ritual, a practice.

Create an experience. Light a candle, dim the lights or turn them all the way up. Do what works for you. Say a prayer, express gratitude. Check out your food.  Smell it. Taste it.

How you eat can be just as important at what you eat. Mindlessly consuming foods permits the body to thoughtlessly process it. Your brain hasn’t registered that it has eaten. This leaves us frequently wanting more so that we feel satisfied and gaining unwanted pounds in the process

Notice how you feel when you eat this way. Do you eat less? Feel more satiated? Enjoy increased energy? Feel calmer? Have less indigestion?

Chew slowly.

Put your fork down for a second or two and pay attention to taste and texture.

Breathe deeply.

Love what you eat.

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