Slowing Down…

1 Jul

I know it’s only been a few days since my last post, but I really wanted to write about something that’s been on my mind a LOT lately.

I’ve been rebuilding my relationship with food. We’ve had a rough time of it, but me and food (and eating!) are back on good terms again. We’re really starting to understand each other. More on that later (more specifically, more on that in a guest blog at The Sex Positive Photo Project in July)!

But in rebuilding my relationship with food and eating, I’ve come across a startiling realization:

I often eat so fast that sometimes I can’t even tell you what the food I just ate tasted like. I mean, I can tell you if it was good, bad or indifferent..But I can’t tell you if it tasted sweet or sour or smokey or nutty..Or if the texture was smooth or crunchy or chewy…Or what spices I could differentiate. Or what I would have added or taken out if I was to cook it again. I also often eat so fast that I eat until I’m uncomfortably full. And it’s hard to enjoy a meal if you hurt afterwards.

I think this habit developed in school and was worsened working a day job. With 15 minutes to eat, who has time to slow down and enjoy it? But if I really want to call myself a foodie (and I do!) and if I really want to enjoy food and learn more about it, I need to slow the fuck down.

So I’m going to try an experiment. Now that I’m gainfully unemployed, I have all the time in the world to eat. Slowly. Intentionally. My guidelines for this experiment:

I will spend a few minutes looking at and smelling my food before I start eating it.

I will spend at least 30 minutes eating each meal (when possible).If I can’t dedicate a full thirty minutes, I’ll at the very least spend a few minutes at the start and in the middle of my meal to check in with myself.

I will eat without distraction (at a table, not in front of my computer or TV).

I will pause 15 minutes into my meal and spend another few minutes checking in with myself. If I’m full, I’ll stop eating.

Along with each recipe I post on this blog, I will include a paragraph about what the food looked like, tasted like, smelled like, and felt like. I’ll write about how it made me feel while I was eating it, and after I ate it. I’ll write about what changes I’d make in the recipe based on my experience eating it.

This is all based on a concept my nutritionist, Lindsay Keach of FEED Health, shared with me. She calls it “Conscious Eating.” The idea is to slow down and check in with yourself emotionally and physically before, during and after a meal. It’s a simple concept, but surprisingly hard to do.

I tried it this afternoon as I slowly ate a piece of Plum Frangipane Tart from Mission Pie. The tart was the perfect balance of sweet and sour. The crust was flaky with a lovely crunch to it. The plums had been halved, and their beautiful purple and orange color made the tart look like a piece of art. It took me about 20 minutes to eat the tart, and I ate it while sharing the company of some wonderful people, sitting in the late afternoon sun streaming through the windows of Mission Pie. It was a beautiful experience, and I’m glad I slowed down and allowed myself to savor it.

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2 Responses to “Slowing Down…”

  1. Katie November 29, 1999 at 4:30 pm #

    Love this post! It’s often my grandpa and I last at the table; we are chronically slow eaters. I used to be kind of embarrassed by it, but the older I get, the more I really like it. Good food absolutely deserves your time and attention 🙂

  2. Alyssa July 4, 2011 at 8:22 pm #

    This is a timely post for me because tonight I was ravenous and DEVOURED my cheeseburger… and then suffered a stomach ache. Maybe I should do the same, because you’re right, we can’t really be foodies if we wolf everything down without taking the time to savor!

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