“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” -Luciano Pavarotti
How often do you stop and eat? I mean really stop. Deliberately stop. Doing nothing but enjoying the experience of eating. It doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal. It could be as simple as eating a bowl of blueberries or a handful of pistachios. It could be a boring salad that you packed for lunch, or it could be a perfectly roasted chicken on Sunday evening.
A healthy relationship with food starts not in what we are eating, but in how we are eating. Good health and good digestion are dependent on both. But even more important than food’s impact on physical health is the daily opportunity eating gives us to connect. Food creates connection to life unlike anything else. In one meal you can experience connection to your body, the earth, another person, a memory of a time or place, your spirit. Food is so much more than nourishment for just the cells of the body, it is soul nourishment.
Eating is not just a physical necessity, it is one of the simplest forms of pleasure we can offer ourselves. It’s a chance to practice gratitude for the privilege of a full plate. It’s a moment in the day to slow down and focus (or refocus) on what’s important.
This is why creating the time and space for eating is essential. Take time for yourself to truly pause and enjoy your food. Make mealtimes a protected priority. Working, driving, errands, television, social media, and whatever else you’re rushing to accomplish are not more important than nourishing yourself, and those tasks will be there for you when you are done.
Slow down, plant your feet on the ground and take a few deep breaths before you begin to eat. Food is about pleasure, so take pleasure in the colours, flavours, textures and aromas of your meal, rather than just eating for survival. Create space for eating and let it enrich your life in ways far beyond nutrients.