All About Food
I’ve been thinking a lot about food this week. Which has brought up some revelations and questions.
On Monday night, I taught a workshop on Mindful Eating. (For more information on Mindful Eating, click here.) The whole workshop revolved around the idea of being present while eating. As a society, we like to be distracted while eating. Most of the time it is in the form of a digital screen watching a show or reading social media. Which led me to wonder, “Is food really that boring? So boring that we need to be entertained in some way while eating?”
During the workshop, we practiced mindful eating. Everyone filled their plates with various bits of food to observe. We all took a minute to get centered and grounded, then started to eat. I guided them to first look at the food observing its color, its texture, its smell. They were then guided to take a bite and observe the flavor as well as the texture and sound. From there, everyone proceeded to eat mindfully for another 10 minutes. My conclusion from all of this was:
- Crunchy food is really noisy.
- Food isn’t boring.
- Instead, it was a bit lonely to be eating in silence. Especially in a room full of people.
Also on Monday, I started a two week online cleanse called “The Conscious Cleanse.” Click here for more info on The Conscious Cleanse. I participated in this cleanse a couple of years ago. I think it is a brilliant program for many reasons.
First, any diet type can participate. Even if you are vegan or paleo, you can participate. The basis of the program is eating clean – no sugar, alcohol, gluten, dairy, etc. So, if you are a meat eater, you can eat all the meat you want and if you are vegan you can eat all the beans you want.
Second, the cleanse focuses on being kind to your body. You eat foods in a combination that is easiest to digest. Vegetables easily digest through our bodies, so you may eat vegetables with anything. Meat, grains, nuts and seeds should be eaten separate from each other. The body uses a significant amount of our energy for digestion when eating the traditional American diet. So, the idea is to lighten up the digestion load so the body puts more energy to other functions like releasing toxins and healing.
Finally, you can eat as much as you want. The cleanse is meant to help you become more aware of your cravings and eating habits. They don’t want you to starve yourself.
After a week of being on the cleanse, I have come to a very significant conclusion.
1) I consider food a friend. When I have the night to myself I plan a special meal of some sort. Then the meal and I sit and watch a movie together. It’s like date night. When there is something to celebrate, I want to celebrate with food. When I’m sad, I want food to comfort me. Food is my friend.
2) If food is a friend, I need to find better friends.
I don’t necessarily think treating food as a friend is a bad thing. People use food as a celebration of life. Cultures have different types of foods, spices, and ways of preparing food that define them. Food is a part of tradition, like cake at weddings and turkey at Thanksgiving.
So, no, I don’t think treating food as a friend a bad thing. I think having bad food as friends is the problem. Just like human bad friends, bad food friends never leave me feeling good about myself. Furthermore, I often have a hang over the day after being with them.
Don’t we all want friends that we feel good about? Don’t we all want friends who support our health and emotional well-being?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s okay to go out with your naughty friends every once in a while. But you will probably remember the next day WHY you don’t hang out with them every night.
This week, the conscious cleanse has made me look at my food friends. I’ve learned that it is possible to live without my bad friends. I’m not sure yet about how fun my new “good” friends are. But past experience has shown me that with a little searching, I can find good food friends that I crave hanging out with.
Cauliflower is a good example. Cauliflower is a good friend I have kept around for a while now. If you haven’t read my “Cauliflower has a Superpower” trilogy blogs, click here to read Episode 1, Episode 2, and Episode 3.
Here is the conundrum of my two food experiences this week. From the Conscious Cleanse I learned I treat food as a friend. However, I learned in the Mindfulness Workshop that hanging out with my food friend with no other distractions makes me feel lonely. What does that mean, exactly? How can food be my friend, but when I hang out one-on-one with my friend, even a good friend, I feel lonely?
I’m starting to wonder if there is something deeper going on. Maybe something emotional regarding food that I’m avoiding? So this is where I am at, friends. I know it’s not like me to leave a blog without a complete answer, but I thought it would be interesting for you to see my process of figuring myself out. With that being said, I’ll be spending time contemplating this conundrum; meditating, journaling, and mindfully observing. We all need to take the time to delve deep, answer the hard questions, and learn what makes us tick. Hopefully, I will have a conclusion to share with you in a future blog.
Maybe you have some thoughts? If so, I would love to hear them! Friends often have insight into you inner workings that you do not. So, if you have any hypothesis, please share! Maybe you have my answer. Maybe you have someone else’s answer!
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