Eat, Talk, Share

Posted in mindful mondays - food for thought on Mar 05,2012

Although one of the key principles of mindful eating is to bring the focus inward and away from outside distractions, sometimes in social situations this is challenging. Todays mindful Monday is to eat, talk, and share. One of the joys of eating is sharing a meal with loved ones.

Looking back at the meals which really stand out in my memory, I realize that they were all shared (and slowly devoured) with a friend who had a mutual love of food. Eating a meal with these friends was more like an event; an experience. If we were out at a restaurant we would salivate as we’d browse the menu, reading off items that sounded interesting, often times helping one another decide between a few options before ordering. We’d discuss the olive oil for bread dipping… was it garlic infused? Lemon? We’d share an appetizer, encouraging each other to try it spread on the bread and guessing at how the cook managed to make it so creamy without the use of dairy. We’d eat our meals with gusto, but not without taking the time to savor each bite and insisting the other have a taste. If cooking the meal at home our mindful conversation would start in the grocery store. We’d take our time walking through the aisles, appreciating the fresh produce, smelling the fresh basil and discussing what items would be best for our dish. Cooking the meal together we’d talk about the crispness of the vegetables,  the aromatic heat from the oven, and after a few tastes, careful consideration would be given to what additional spices were needed.

Sometimes I’d leave the restaurant inspired to recreate the meal at home, sure I knew the exact ingredients. I’d always finish the meal feeling fulfilled and satisfied.

The next time you are eating with one or more friends, share what you are experiencing in terms of flavors and textures, likes and dislikes. Talk about what cooking methods you think were used, what ingredient gives it that special zip, how it pairs with your wine, your thoughts on the presentation, even what you might have done differently if you were the chef.  At first this may seem a little unnatural, but you may be surprised how much fun you can have with it. Bringing mindful eating into conversation will most likely have you tasting and experiencing aspects of a meal you may have otherwise missed.

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