I love a lot of things in life. I love travel, I love people, I love animals, I love adventure – but one thing I really, really love is food.
I love the smell of food, the texture of food – some soft, some crunchy and the temperature of food – some cool and refreshing, some warm and soothing.
I love the socializing part of food, connecting the special food on special days with special people and the special conversations and memories that often surround food. It’s …well it’s … special.
I love thinking about what the food is going to taste like and anticipating what food I will get to enjoy next. Sometimes, I go to bed thinking about food and sometimes I wake up thinking about food. Hmmm, maybe I should get out more.
Nonetheless, I recognize that not all my thoughts about food are productive – in fact the more that I think about it – it may be bordering on obsessive and that’s never good.
But lately, I’ve noticed that I am not mindfully enjoying my food – with the emphasis on the ‘joy’ part of enjoy.
I realized that when I eat too fast, take too big of bites, stuff, grab, pick and nibble it does not serve to create that joy or great eating habits and I don’t feel as good, look as good or act as good as I know I should.
I think back to the ‘why’s’ – why am I mindlessly grabbing? What am I putting into my mouth? Where am I when I am eating it? Who am I with at the time of stuffing? And how am I consuming said food?
And the answers tell a story…
Why do I grab? Because I am hungry? Sometimes, yes. Mostly though because I like to eat, I feel like crunch in my mouth, I am rushed or stalling or procrastinating on something else that I don’t want to do. I’m rarely bored but rather at these times I am involved in busy work, non-urgent things to do that don’t require a lot of concentration, so I can eat at the same time. Interesting – why do you grab food?
Where am eating the food? I eat it standing up, in the car, on the move, at the counter, almost always with other distractions present. Rarely, if ever, am I consciously sitting down at the table. Hmmm, more interesting news.
What am I putting into my mouth? Something processed, in a wrapper or a package, something easy, something quick, something that requires very little if any, prep. Something crunchy, salty or sweet – preferably all three. Something that doesn’t have to be peeled or washed or prepared. This is my lazy coming out.
Who am I with? I am by myself. I am alone. Always alone when I have this seemingly uncontrollable urges to stuff.
How am I consuming my food? In large quantities, in big mouthfuls, hurriedly, unconsciously.
Fasinating and telling answers for questions asked far too infrequently. Interesting answers that all lead back to the same conclusion. Unconcious eating, mindless eating.
And so today I ask myself – if I love food so much – why am I in such a hurry to eat it? If I enjoy food as much as I claim to, why do I choose not to slow down, take small bites and saviour each mouthful?
If I want to spend more quality time with my honey, connecting with my friends and nourishing my family wouldn’t cooking together be a nice way to make that happen – turning what can be seen as a chore into one on one time. If I think food makes things special, why aren’t I making it so?
With our fast-paced lifestyle and an M & M’s chicken finger dinner becoming a home cooked meal, I’m starting to wonder if I’m missing out on something here. How can we start loving our food again?
Maybe the answer is in the questions or more to the point, in the answers to the question that I asked. Hmmm, did that make sense? What I mean is, if I don’t like what I have been doing, I can flip it around and do the opposite.
Why do I grab? When I feel the urge to eat, I can challenge myself to notice and even write down what I am feeling. The big question at this point would be, ‘Am I actually hungry’?
Where do I eat my food? I sit down at the table and enjoy my food.
How am I eating my food? I eat in small bites and chew well. I eat slowly so that I can notice the texture, nuances, flavours of the food and perhaps most importantly notice, when I a feel satisfied versus when I feel full.
What am I eating? Products as close to their natural state as possible, as fresh as possible, as wholesome as possible.
Who am I with? I eat the same when I am alone as I would eat in front of my friends.
If you are so inclined, ask yourself the who, what,when, where and why questions around your food habits, you never know what you might uncover.
As for me, I cannot promise what tomorrow will bring, but for today, I pledge to be purposeful, intentional and deliberate about what I choose to put into my mouth. If I do not love it, I will not eat it. I will not stuff, or rush, I will learn more about food choices and options and preparation.
Care to join me? I brought it two of my favourite foodie chicks to discuss healthy eating with me and I learned a lot! I will be putting Spelt Flour and Coconut Sugar on my shopping list and taking packaged taco seasoning off it! Find out why and more great ideas by listening to the whole show here:
Professional Home Economist, Getty Stewart’s guiding food principles when choosing and making food for her family and when writing are pretty basic:
- eat and prepare more meals using fresh food
- rely less on processed food
- use less salt, sugar and fat
- enjoy food and share all aspects of it with friends and family (growing, buying, preparing, eating)
- watch proportion size
We laughed our way through this information interview as she made me say, “Wow.” after comparing some a couple of simple products.
I use this homemade Italian Herb seasoning in many dishes – and not all of them are Italian. In addition to pasta, pizza and spaghetti sauce, I use it on steamed veggies, garlic toast, potatoes, baked pita chips and sometimes even popcorn. I also use it in soups, stews, salad dressings and veggie dips. In other words, it gets used a lot! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Prep Time: 5 minutes Yield: 1 cup of seasoning
Great for pasta, chicken, pork, garlic toast and even popcorn.
4 ½ Tbsp dried basil
3 Tbsp dried marjoram
3 Tbsp dried parsley
3 Tbsp dried oregano
1 1/2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 1/2 Tbsp onion flakes
1 ½ tsp dried thyme
1 ½ tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
For more information on Getty’s work (and passion) visit – http://www.gettystewart.com
Wendy Erlanger REALLY loves how the traditional foods movement allows us to slow down a bit and engage with others through the preparation and sharing of foods such as succulent sourdough, beloved bone broths and fabulous ferments. She shares some great ideas with us on the show and on her site, http://www.thewisdomkitchen.com. I love her idea of doing the broth in the crock pot – why didn’t I think of that?
Why Make Chicken Broth?
We are heading into the season where cold and flus run rampant. There is nothing like good, old-fashioned chicken broth, filled with calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids to help keep the doctor and cold medicines away! Bone broth even contains glucosamine and chondroitin-which are both believed to help the effects of arthritis and joint pain!
The next time you finish a roasted chicken, don’t throw the carcass away! Instead, dig out your crock-pot, set the carcass in and add the following:
-an onion (unpeeled)
-a few celery stalks
-a couple of carrots
-a couple of bay leaves
-some unrefined salt
-some fresh dill
Fill the crock-pot with spring water; turn it on low and 12 hours later, voila-delicious, nourishing chicken broth!
Drink it straight or use it to make a soup of your choice.
Either way, the health benefits will far surpass the powder and bouillon cube versions of chicken broth!
Interested in learning more by taking a class in Winnipeg? Visit:http://www.thewisdomkitchen.com/classes.php
Ahhh, good food, good life. Enjoy, enjoy! Steph 🙂
Stephanie Staples, CSP* is the author of When Enlightening Strikes – Creating a Mindset for Uncommon Success, an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker, and the recipient of the 2014 Manitoba Woman Entrepreneur Award for Contributions to Community. Stephanie empowers audiences & clients across North America to bring their ‘A’ game to work and to life. Stephanie has a special interest in working with and empowering nurses and healthcare providers. She happily calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home. You can get loads of complimentary resources to help with issues such as work/life balance, wellness, stress management and happiness in general, as well as find out more information about her coaching and speaking services at http://www.YourLifeUnlimited.ca.
* Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), conferred by the National Speakers Association is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform proficiency. Less than 10 percent of speakers have earned this credential and are recognized as some of the best in their fields. Stephanie was one of only five professional speakers in Canada (and the only woman) to attain this designation in 2013.