Standing at the kitchen sink eating, I …
… bit into a wedge of tomato, wrapped in a leaf of kale, wrapped in a slice of smoked turkey. Leaning slightly forward so the juice from the tomato would drip into the sink, I had one hand on the doorknob. That’s when it hit me.
Is this any way to show my gratitude for the privilege of being able to eat?
Okay, I thought, it’s time for me to get back in touch with gratitude, to slow down and acknowledge the gift of food. It’s time for me to breathe and reflect. My summer harvest is canned, frozen, dried, and otherwise plentifully packed onto shelves. It’s the season to stock up and bask in a bounty of good eats, NOT stuff food into my mouth over the kitchen sink.
This year, instead of just sitting down at the table and digging in (or worse yet, eating on the run), I aspire to be fully present at meal time. Before taking a bite, I’m taking a moment to pause and appreciate the plants, animals, water, soil, sunshine, and human effort that contributed to the contents of my meal.
It’s more than reciting a blessing; it is a deep awareness of being blessed. Whether spoken or silent, gratitude is cultivated within the pause. “Mindful eating” is a truly fulfilling experience which actually results in better digestion and more efficient nutrient assimilation. Plus, when we maintain awareness of our food, we’re less likely to overeat. Below are four ideas I like to contemplate before each meal (and this includes nibbles and snacks) that help me indulge with greater appreciation.
- I acknowledge the wonders that have brought food to my table.
- I acknowledge my body as a precious gift that deserves loving care.
- I acknowledge the power of food to nourish my body as I work to reach my full mental, emotional, and spiritual potential.
Learn more about the benefits of mindful eating: