Food for thought

Ever notice how when eating their favorite meals and foods, most people rush from one bite to the next one, almost like in a race?

I believe this is also a result of our modern approach to life, which tells you that you always need to be moving forward and planning for the future. This is yet another thing which might seem “trivial” at first sight, but when a lot of these trivial issues get together, it is exactly what determines how happy and fulfilled you actually feel.

Notice how huge are the portions at most fad food joints, yet we can usually go through the whole meal in literally 5 minutes. As soon as one bite enters our mouths, we are no longer aware of it. We are already thinking of the NEXT bite, and then the NEXT bite, and then.. you get the picture 😉 Why do we do that, though? What’s the difference between the next bite, and the one we have in our mouth right now?

It’s all just a mentality thing. We have been taught to do all our everyday things quickly. Who cares about food, showering, putting clothes on, walking to the bus stop – those are irrelevant issues that need to be handled quickly, so you can get to the REAL important stuff – achieving goals… This sort of mindset is widely spread through western society, and it only results in more and more everyday stress. So not only has this rush leaked into our sex lives, but it has also leaked into our food, making for yet another thing that we are unable to enjoy each day.

There are a lot of ways to fight this, though. Here are some tips you should  try:

  • Devote a block of time each day to your meals. Do whatever it takes to make sure that you can eat your meals quietly and in comfort. The reason we instinctively rush through meals is that we are always on the run, we want to get to the next task as quickly as possible. If you devote 15 minutes to lunch, for example, you can simply relax during that period. You will stop thinking about the upcoming task and will simply be able to enjoy the food you are taking in. Most of us think we don’t have time for food, but if you just take a second to think it through, you’ll see there is tons of opportunities for healthy and mindful food consumption. Realize that it will be to you of great benefits, making you less stressed out and also more productive in whatever you do each day.
  • If possible, try to always eat away from the TV and your computer. Don’t make eating just a mandatory task that you have to be done with as quickly as possible; eating is one of your primary tasks as a human being, give it the attention it deserves. You might find it hard at first to do this, but trust me – if you do it consistently for a few days, you’ll see a great change.
  • Be mindful. When you chew on your food, keep your eyes (and hand/fork/spoon etc.) away from your plate and away from the rest of the food. Focus on what you are chewing. Try to notice what it tastes like, what it feels like. Don’t rush and swallow it too quickly – take your time with it. Make sure that before you swallow your food, it has been nicely dissolved by your saliva. If you can’t find the time in the morning to eat at peace because you are in a hurry to work or school, do yourself a favor and wake up 5 minutes earlier than usual. Those few minutes won’t do your sleep any extra good, but they might just be enough to allow you to have a peaceful and quite morning, and I guarantee you that this will make a huge impact on the rest of the day and this morning calmness will radiate towards everything else you do that day.
  • While we’re on the subject – always try to have your breakfast before going out to work or school. You will have more energy, you’ll feel more relaxed, your mind will be fueled so you will be much more resistant to stressful factors and much more productive in everything you do.

Try those steps for yourself, give your food just a bit of attention, and you will be rewarded. You will have a much healthier diet because of it; since you now eat slowly and manfully, you will not have the need to consume a lot of food to make up for the lack of a sense of fulfilment (which resulted before from eating too fast). You will require less food to be satisfied, and you will reduce your daily stress levels by yet another notch.

Just some food for thought.

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3 responses to “Food for thought

  1. Pingback: Fighting stress and depression | Happy Sapiens

  2. Oh, Mark, there is so much truth in that article. thank you for bring it to everyones attention. I would love to tweet it and stumble it, but can’t find a go button. I am going to go have my dinner this evening and enjoy every bit and eat it slowly and enjoy the flavors. thanks so much for reminding all of us to slooowwww downnnnnnnnn.
    Debbie

    • Hi Debbie,

      Again, I appreciate you dropping by 🙂 I will try to add a “tweet it” button as soon as I can figure out how to do that. I hope wordpress has such an option integrated within the code 🙂

      EDIT: I just found the option in wordpress 🙂

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