Mindful Eating at Thanksgiving
Hi friends, I’m happy to be able to share my thoughts with you on this wonderful holiday celebrating gratitude and connection.
I’d like to talk about slowing down to appreciate.
Many people may be worried about the food… whether it is healthy, about overeating or missing out to “be good”, and others may be suspending their everyday eating patterns in favor of “traditional” holiday eating patterns for the next month. Some people will try to “earn it” or “burn it” with compensatory exercise.
Whichever way you might be leaning, I want you to try to let all that go.
Try this instead. Slow down.
Before you sit down to the meal, practice a slow breathing exercise to prime your nervous system to rest/digest mode.
An easy way to do this is to inhale deeply so that your belly expands, then very slowly exhale, as if you were blowing on a candle flame enough to make it flicker but not go out.
After two or three of these slow breaths, relax your face into a smile.
As plates are being filled, I like to take a moment of mindfulness about the food before me, and what it represents.
Become aware for a moment how this food vitally connects you to the earth.
Become aware of the life that the plant or animal had that transformed earth air and sunlight into accessible nutrients for us.
Become aware of the chain of people connecting you to that nutrition, who dedicate their physical labor to harvesting and distributing this food, how their work in turn supports their families.
Become aware of the cooks who have prepared the ingredients into delicious meals by adding love. All this is what you are ingesting. So take your time, slow down and savor it.
Now take a moment and become aware that there are many people, even in your own neighborhood, who struggle with food insecurity every day.
Honor and appreciate what this and every meal really means, and what you can do in the next year to pay it forward.