Tuesday, January 22, 2019
This is the second blog in my New Year Resolutions/Goals. More time has lapsed than I first intended after posting my "Don't Worry, Be Happy" blog. My second Resolution/Goal to Eat Mindfully is much harder than I realized. I suppose I've been somewhat reluctant to blog about it since I'm still wrapping my mind around it.
Eating mindfully is mre difficult to nail down than I thought at first blush. My original intention was to merely monitor my food intake with more care than I have been doing in the past many weeks and months. However, there are many aspects to eating mindfully. If one just googles this phrase, more than 54 million articles pop up in a mere 6.3 seconds.
One aspect of mindful eating that I really love is taking a moment to appreciate the many hands that touched this food before mine. I read about this practice many years ago in a book I bought after seeing the author on the Oprah show. I have looked for the book, but believe I loaned it out. I still remember the author holding up an apple and thanking the person who planted the tree, the workers who nurtured the orchard, the person who picked the apple, the people who transported it from orchard to wholesale to retail. In truth, it is a particular kind of blessing over one's food. All my life I've heard people pray blessings on "the hands that prepared this food." We always think of the cook who put it on the table or serving line, but mindful eating goes back to the origin of the food. So there's that.
As I plan to practice that once again, albeit silently as I view my plate, my intention was to eat more carefully, to run the soon to be inhaled food through my internal scanner and filter, a sort of sifting the wheat from the chaff. When I take the grands to the McDonald's play place, my mindful self should choose the yogurt parfait over the fudge and caramel drenched ice cream sundae. So there's that one.
Yet another thing popped into my mind. I have many recipes that have been handed down from my mother and grandmother. When I cook those things, my mind reels with memories from the smells alone of my grandmother's baked lemon pudding or the taste of my mother's Dixie pie, oozing with chocolate chips, nuts and a creamy brown sugar and butter base. Yes, it does explain the phrase "whistling Dixie". So there's another kind of mindful eating, but often these family recipes are way too rich or downright ridiculous to put into my tracker, which nearly explodes while my AppleWatch puts a big old red stoplight on my calorie counter. Halt! In the name of all reason! Go ye to the celery cell and contemplate your ever-expanding navel.
Last of the many mindful thoughts that I will share (knowing that many are yet untouched in this blog) is the concept of mindful eating that comes directly from writings in Zen literature:
"Simply put, [the] approach to mindful eating is learning to pay attention. Instead of eating mindlessly, putting food into your mouth almost unconsciously, not really tasting the food you're eating … you notice your thoughts, feelings, and sensations. ... The look, smell, taste, feel of the food you're eating." (from Zen Habits, a blog) To this I would add utilitizing the best food I can process using sensible guidelines to provide weight loss and naturally occurring maintenance. As I recall the Chinese saying that "a journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step," I will keep in mind that my journey to my best body begins with just one healthy bite.
Thanks for reading this lengthy attempt to ingrain my new year 2019 goals into my life.