Lately I have consciously taken heaps of time to appreciate and enjoy my meals. Time dedicated just for my food. This morning I had rye bread, zucchini, sprouts, egg, cheese and butter on my plate. I also had a smoothie with kale, apple, banana, seeds, and ginger. What a bountiful and blissful meal to start a day with.
Sometimes in student restaurant or cafeteria I pay attention how people in general eat. Often the observation is the same, if people are not talking to other people they are either reading a magazine or using phone while eating. Majority is keeping themselves busy while eating. In other words, they are consciously drawing attention from nourishing body to something more important. But what in the world can be more important? I used to do this myself as well and it is definitely not to be judged for if grown up in society where food is a platitude. Nevertheless, it is time to wake up and break this unconscious and unrewarding social habit. Eating alone is okay.
Everything that is alive pulsates energy. What ever I eat, I also eat the energy of it. Because as humans we also contain a huge amount of energy, our presence, touch and care have a great influence to everything we create. The nature of our energy transfers to food or animals that we grow. For example, Indian cuisine is known as a very healthy and nutritious one. Thus, Indians eat a lot of milk products that again have invoked controversial opinions in Western world. What makes the milk products so healthy in India? One nutritional therapist that has influenced my life a lot suggests that it can be traced down to way that cows are treated in India. Cow is a saint animal that is nationally honored and loved. The food that cow offers is processed and eaten with care and gratitude. It is highly considered to be divine and blissful nutriment that is treated with love having higher vibrational energy in it. Makes sense.
The question is do I know where my food comes from? At least I know that it does not come from supermarket. One local farmer told me that there are big differences in harvesting and time that is given to it. For example, a vegetable is proven to be a lot more nutritious if it is left to the ground for the rest of the day after picking it up instead of taking it up away from soil immediately. When left on the ground for a while the vegetable absorbs dew and the energy of Earth creating incredibly healthy outcome. Thus, a carrot itself is not THAT healthy, but the way it is grown and taken care of makes it healthy. Also if comparing eggs that are from an organic farm to industrial produced ones the difference is seen easily: organic eggs have an bright orange yolk and mass-produced a straw-colored. It is not a difficult task to decide which one looks better to eat. I can eat a lot less food and get more nutrients from it if it’s grown with love and care.
I used to eat fast. For a while I blamed a big family (eat fast to get for second round), extremely fast digestion (I am always hungry), all the exercise that I had done or being busy with work but in the end of the day none of these were good excuses enough not to respect my food. Then I stepped to a new phase in my life and shared a home with two roommates that I barely knew. Those girls became my “wives” as I like to call them that loved me unconditionally and taught me incredible amount of love and respect. They taught me to eat slowly and lift the food on a pedestal that it truly deserves. Nowadays, if I don’t have time to eat mindfully and with gratitude I don’t eat at all. This way I forced myself to decide that I would always have time.
Mindful eating starts already before I put anything in my mouth. What should I eat? My body knows a lot better what it needs than my mind. Ego, learned beliefs and habits sometimes desire certain type of food that my body does not need in reality. It was such a lesson to become sensitive for what my intuition is craving for and to separate it from what my thoughts are craving for. First of all, take time to listen to your body’s and soul's needs.
I clean table of extra stuff and make a decision to eat mindfully. I am not going to read or answer my phone when I am eating. I take a moment to be grateful for the food. The following manner is taught me by my “wife”. On the first breath, I thank for all the animals and plants that gave their energy for me. On the second breath, I thank all the hands that have been growing, breeding, transporting and making the food. Thirdly, I thank for an opportunity to eat it all while so many other people don’t have it. I take in all the colors and textures. I smell the food and taste every bite carefully. I separate different flavors and "get to know my food". While eating I think that it contains all the nutrients that I need in my body right now. I imagine that every bite is filled with bright and beautiful energy. Whatever it is that I am eating or drinking I believe that it has all the healing or strengthening power in the world. And so it has. I feel so much more healthy, light and strong now than ever before.
What is on my plate today again? There is warm sunlight, rich soil, pouring rain and purifying wind. There is an effort of planting, growing, harvesting, preserving, transporting and preparing. It is spiced up with love, care and sharing. There is beautiful art work of colors and shapes. It is full of soulful bright light and energy that is exactly what I need for now. That’s on my plate today.