The last of the three concepts in food as self care or self-love is the way that your food is enjoyed. All of the concepts are important but this one is especially powerful in coming back into your body so healthy becomes a habit and not a choice.
When we consume food in a rushed and hurried way, or as we're distracted by other things, such as our devices or other activities our brains can't process the fact that we're eating. If we're distracted, then we're not able to be fully present with our food which I believe is the reason why at the end of a meal we may still be unsatisfied.
But when you focus first by spending ten seconds enjoying your food with your eyes, you can really appreciate the meal and appreciate the food that's going into your system. It starts to slowly recalibrate your whole entire being to naturally prefer more colorful food. And the sounds kind of like a weird concept, but it works. And pretty soon you'll be looking for the color in your food - which is where the nutrients lie.
After years of learning bad habits in the food service industry as a cake decorator and restaurant server, I got used to skipping meals, inhaling food, and using food (mostly sugar and caffeine) as a way to push through fatigue. Instead of using food to nourish, heal, and recover from daily stress and activity.
It took a long time for me to drop this habit in favor of choosing instead to appreciate and enjoy my meals. I find that when I take ten or fifteen minutes to enjoy my breakfast or my lunch, maybe twenty or twenty five if it's my dinner, I am far more satiated by the food. Why? Because I also enjoyed the experience and was fully present in the very intimate act of choosing healthy food to nourish mind, body, and soul.
After being so present with my food, I can carry on with the rest of my day without feeling hungry or thinking about what else I want to eat. You're able to be in the activity of eating so that you can be out of the activity of craving snacks and thinking that you're still hungry when you're in between meals.
In addition to the way that you enjoy your food by yourself, we also gather around the table with people! In celebration, but also in the day-to-day which is really important. It's something I always loved as a kid and within our family was really important. You better have had a good excuse if you were not at the dinner table!
It's a really, really intimate and very special when you're all gathered around food - that's when some awesome conversations can happen. That's a huge reason why I love to curate plant-based gourmet dining experiences in people's homes. I bring the magic of good food and good conversation to their table in an exciting and nourishing way.
Remember to go slow, and chew your food thoroughly. That's where the digestive process actually starts - right there in your mouth with your saliva. But when we inhale our bites and don't chew our food enough, the rest of the system will have a more challenging time processing the food and extracting the nutrients.
So consider that when you eat your food every day, you can also be training your body and brain to prefer, and eventually crave, healthy and delicious foods. Each meal you eat is an opportunity to build a strong and resilient body! But it CAN (and should) be incredibly flavorful and fun to eat food you love that loves you back ;)