I think eating mindfully is a beautiful way to take care of ourselves and to savor our lives. Eating mindfully simply means paying full attention to eating (or cooking or even washing the dishes).
Eating mindfully is a way for us to honor our bodies, to honor the process of nourishing ourselves. It’s a way to honor the rich, long process that goes into food arriving at our tables — from seeds sprouting in the earth to trucks bringing it to the store.
Here are some valuable insights, tips and reminders for eating mindfully from the book How to Eat by Zen teacher Thich Nhat Hanh.
In Thursday’s post I mentioned that there are many ways we can nourish ourselves — in addition to food.
Today, make a list of all the things that nourish you. I see nourishment as anything that’s fulfilling, meaningful, fun, playful, soothing, refreshing, invigorating, puts-a-smile-on-your-face, and meets a need.
Creating this list gives you the opportunity to reflect on what really helps you. Plus, when you’re stressed or overwhelmed, you have a list of nourishing activities and actions you can turn to, without having to think about it.
Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! This week’s self-care links feature everything from making peace with food to exploring your word for the year.
5 questions for a bright and clear new year.
You will see plenty of articles about the average number of calories in a Thanksgiving meal and how horrifying this is supposed to be. You’ll see plenty of articles on which foods you can eat and which foods you should never ever ever consume.
You’ll see articles portraying food as the enemy or Thanksgiving and the holidays in general as a battle you must defeat. (Or articles that create multiple enemies — one article said “food isn’t always the enemy” and then named something else that is.)
You’ll see articles that demonize food and you for “indulging.” They might be filled with judgement, scare tactics and guilt. They might be filled with ridiculous tips to manipulate yourself to eat less.
In addition to sharing links to others’ posts on self-care (along with a few of my own) in these “Self-Care Sunday” posts, I’ll also occasionally share a small tip or idea for taking kinder care of ourselves.
Yesterday, I was reading one of my favorite blogs “Eat This Poem.” It’s written by Nicole Gulotta, who I actually interviewed last year about her creative process. In her latest post, Nicole shares this beautiful quote from Laurie Colwin’s book of essays Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen:
Everywhere we look, we see ads for weight-loss programs, diet foods and diet pills.
We’re shamed and blamed about our food choices (you better not eat that if you want to be “healthy.” you know it’s bikini season, right?).
Our friends and family might be “watching” what they eat (e.g., counting calories), and we assume we have to watch, too. (Or maybe some people even suggest it.)
When we’re trying to find foods that truly nourish us, when we’re trying to rebuild our relationship with food, it can help to have some good reminders.
For Memorial Day weekend, Brian and I visited friends in Miami. We ate lots of my favorite foods: shrimp, french fries, gelato, whole wheat waffles.
While I enjoyed every bite, afterward, I felt the subtle, gnawing nudge of guilt. And some negative thoughts had slithered in:
What if you gain weight from all of this? You’ve already gained weight since last summer. What if it all goes straight to your expanding hips and thighs? What’s wrong with you? Did you really need to eat the whole plate? You know, you look pregnant, right?
While I can’t control these automatic thoughts, I can remind myself that they’re definitely mistaken. I can remind myself of the truth.
When we’re embarrassed over something we enjoy, we call it a “guilty pleasure.”
We laugh it off. We apologize. We wonder and worry what others will think of us.
For instance, you might say that your guilty pleasure is watching reality shows or eating ice cream in front of the TV or listening to certain singers or liking certain books or films or foods that you’d be mortified if anyone found out.
A positive body image goes beyond liking your looks. It encompasses taking good care of yourself and leading a fulfilling life. In this weekly series, I share some of my favorite posts from some of my favorite bloggers on this topic. Sometimes I also share relevant pieces that I’ve written elsewhere. Hope you find these links inspiring!
What defines a toxic relationship and how you can navigate one.
“Many of us are plagued by cultural messages that doing things that feel good, just for the fun of it, is irresponsible and self-indulgent,” writes editor Karen Bouris in her book 31 Words to Create a Guilt-Free Life: Finding the Freedom to Be Your Most Powerful Self.
When we finally have some free time, we wonder what work we should fill it with. Should I pick up around the house? Do the laundry? Dust? Work on another project? Pay the bills?