So many people are constantly searching for the next fad diet that will follow through on the promise of better health, less excess weight, and glowy skin. They look for the rules and the boxes they need to fit in to achieve their goals. They look for hope in the paleo box, the Whole 30 promise, and the vegan answer. Sound familiar?
Along with trying to grasp onto the latest diet floating around, I often hear people saying they have an issue enjoying food too much. But I have to challenge that. Are you savoring every bite? Sitting down to meals with friends and family? Truly paying attention? My experience has been that people who would like to change their relationship with food, don't enjoy it nearly enough. And what if we changed our approach and saw the way to better health was actually through enjoying more and caring less about the rules that take away from the way we experience our food?
When I was younger, I used to enjoy cookies so much, that I would wolf down an entire tray without savoring a bite. I was addicted to the feel of a full belly on carbs and sugar in excess. I would feel grounded, heavy, and horrible leaving the kitchen in a stupor of sugar. Not only that, but I used to enjoy food so much that I ate on the go, in the car, and while doing several other tasks at once. I enjoyed food so much that I really wasn't enjoying it at all.
And then when I moved to France (yes, this lesson took many years and moving continents) I saw how the natives celebrated over meals and each bite of food was treasured as a near life changing experience. I kid you not. They did not shovel food in front of screens or in cars or during stressful situations. They did not use it to numb, hide, or escape. But what they did do was enjoy. They ate long lunches at cafes and carefully curated dinners in each other's homes. They set the table. They paused to take in the aroma before beginning a meal. They debated where the best croissants in town could be found and the best way to cook a perfect egg. They filled up on conversation, beauty, and life and tasted the delicious food that was so delicately placed in front of them.
When you sit down, celebrate, and enjoy food you arrive in the present. When you pay attention in this presence you learn a lot. You learn what foods don't support your body and mind to thrive when eaten too often. You learn that you are satisfied with a lot less when you truly taste, enjoy, and chew each bite. You notice that when enjoying food is a sacred event, it cannot be done 5-10 times a day, but instead 3 meals daily. That when you celebrate food, instead of using it for an alternative therapy or fast fix, it has the ability to not only nourish your body, but light up your life in the moment and see magic in this something we do daily.
In a culture that says we enjoy our food too much, I have to say we don't see and experience the joy nearly enough. And maybe if we lessened our need for quantity and saw the beauty in quality of what is on our plate, the connection with others that sit across from us, and the depth of what our food has to offer, we would step closer toward loving our daily ritual that is around the table. And that is my wish for you. To fill up on conversation and relish each bite. To find freedom in enjoyment rather than guilt around breaking the rules. And to learn that the path of truly enjoyment and presence can show you the way to healing, health, and appreciation. That is my wish for you.
What is one way you can elevate your joy around food today? And share with us in the comments below.
And on the note of enjoyment, the Nourish 360 Women's Evening Retreat is coming up this month on June 23rd. We will gather at the lovely Happy Girl Kitchen in the Monterey Bay to slow down, enjoy a delicious + wholesome dinner, refresh, and express our creativity to manifest a beautiful Summer 2017. To learn more, please go here. I so hope to see you there. Xo