I really do not believe in making resolutions for the New Year but my decision to change some eating habits coincided with the beginning of January 2018. I figured since I am developing a blog on mindfulness it would be good to include eating mindfully as one of the components of the blog.
I recently suffered from food poisoning after dining at a local restaurant. No one else became ill so I am almost positive that it was the food I ate that day. I have been recuperating ever since Thanksgiving so this is why I have not posted much lately. But I am back and feeling a lot better and energetic.
I’ve been keeping a journal of what I eat and try to plan my meals a few days in advance. My daughter gave me the idea. Planning meals and shopping for the ingredients should all be done in a meaningful and mindful way. I find myself paying more attention to food labels and looking for expiration dates. I write down my own recipes now, something I never thought to do before. I experiment with new recipes more than I used to before and reflect on the outcomes. I write about how the meal made me feel and if my family enjoyed it.
It is said that when we take our time eating and focus on how the food will fulfill its task of keeping our bodies healthy and strong the food id better digested.
I have always loved to cook. I learned at a very early age. I was a latch key kid and my mother taught me to make rice and other side dishes so that when she got home dinner would be almost half way done. I always watched her carefully. She too had a kind of love affair with food. I learned that food makes everybody happy in one way or another. She taught me that the main and most important ingredient was love. Food is the best path to the heart. We tend to remember and reminisce about the aroma of grandma’s cookies or in my case mom’s soups. The aroma was comforting.
For the holidays I decided to try my luck at making fruit cake. I know you either love it or hate it. I just happen to know a few people who love it. I looked for different recipes and looked at YouTube videos to make sure I followed procedures and directions. I finally decided on this one recipe. I must say I am not one of the people who love fruitcake but the one I made was simply sumptuous. The true taste test was by a dear friend and a relative that let’s just say they have had their share of fruitcake. Well, I received five stars. I felt so accomplished and so proud.
During the confection of this cake I was mindful and very careful because I truly wanted it to be the best. I remember gathering all the fruit in a large bowl and slowly pouring orange juice over the mixture. The aroma was amazing. I purposely did not add any brandy or other alcoholic drink. I used lemon rind and vanilla.
Every day I try to focus on one part of the recipe and try to use as many of the five senses as I can. Since cooking has now become a mindful adventure I cannot tell you how much more content I am after I make a meal. My husband is also a very happy camper.
5 Steps to Follow:
- Free your mind. Concentrate on the aromas or the shapes of foods that you put together.
- Plan your meal ahead and make sure you have all the ingredients.
- Be willing to improvise and be creative
- When you taste something, think about where it came from. For example, when you are making a pineapple upside down cake, visualize the fields and how the fruit was picked.
- Write down people’s feedback and write down your critique. Take photos of the finished product and keep them in your diary.