"Food for thought" February 14

Hi Blenders,

How has the week gone nutrition wise/eating wise? Have you felt okay with what, how and why you were eating? Did you give it any thought?

When I started this thread a week or so ago, I talked about mindful eating- specifically with trying to increase our awareness while eating by taking a few moments to notice smells, colours, textures, etc. And I left us with a challenge to try to incorporate this sense of awareness into our meal times once per day for a week. Did any of you try it? How did it go?

I must admit, I tried it and it was a LOT harder than I expected. Even if I thought about it just before sitting down, I immediately forgot about it when the plate was before me and often found myself tucked into my food, without much thought. However, a handful of times I remembered halfway through the meal and made a conscious effort to slow down, giving thought to how and what I was eating. So some awareness did creep in...but I am surprised at how often I ate without thinking, kind of a rote action. When I consciously slowed down, I felt pretty good. I appreciated both my food and my my environment more fully (once or twice it happened at work, the other times at home so I was often eating in company) and I had a few moments to reflect on my habits and my behaviour. The result of this week's experiment? Well, I'm hoping to hold on to that positive feeling (kind of like the endorphins we get after hanging out with Kelli and Daniel...and Loki, if we're really lucky) and carry on trying.

The point of all this is to become more aware of our relationship with food: how and why we eat. (I am eating the opened packet of chips because they are there but am I really hungry and do I really want them? I am eating the same cereal everyday because it's convenient but can I change it up a bit and try something different for the variety? I am bored...maybe I'll eat something but can I do something else instead?) When we understand our relationship with food, we create the space and the possibiltiy to allow change...if we desire it. Maybe we don't want to...and that is also fine....but we have the option.

Mindfulness, however, doesn't apply just to eating. We can also be mindful of our food choices. Earlier this week, Lynna talked about incorporating 30 different plant species/ per week into our food choices. The idea intrigued me and to be honest, I thought it would be difficult. But without trying too hard, I managed to eat 39 different plant species in one week. Not only was I happy with that, the exercise itself made me a bit more aware of my food choices and rather than simply reaching for the same things everyday, I looked a bit more carefully in my cupboards and mixed it up a bit more. It wasn't that hard.

Gosh, this has gotten lengthy!! But I am interested in learning how your week has gone and if you have any insights to share.

My challenge for this week? It's a one off.....having one meal without any distractions- no books, music, telephones, lists, company....nothing. Just you and your food, being mindful of what and how you are eating. Try to be aware of how it makes you feel....do you want to rush through the meal to get on with your day? Do you enjoy the time out, the quiet? Is the taste of the food more pronounced?

I will admit, I tried it at breakfast and found myself rushing....so I'm going to give it another try. And probably another and another until I can make it through one meal with pleasure!!!