Welcome to Mindful Monday! I have found that being mindful encompasses the act of being watchful, aware, wary, heedful, alert, careful, or attentive, in whatever area in my life I feel it applies to. Each week I try to self discover new things about myself.
This week, my friend Lia, from the Lifestyles of Lia, sent me a message alerting me to a television show on the Oprah Network called, “Super Soul Sunday,” which was going to feature author, Michael Pollan, regarding mindful eating. I just finished watching the show and was it fabulous! Michael Pollan has quite a few books out about mindful eating. Please click the link above to see a listing of his books.
Oprah interviewed Michael, of course, and I must say I was enthralled with his views. Michael called the act of eating “a spiritual experience” akin to taking communion in church, as long as we are changed by the experience. Eating is a communion of food into our bodies, Michael says. I had never thought about eating a meal in those terms before. When we eat dinner at a table as a family, we are emotionally vested in our food and the companionship of our family. We are living in the moment.
He further explained that we should eat food, not too much, and mostly plants. Then, he asked the big question. Do you know where your food comes from? 100 years ago, we all grew our own food and knew how it was grown. Not so, in modern times. When we think about what we eat it becomes empowering. Your carbon footprint matters. By making choices in the food we eat, we are also taking a stand on social issues. For example, if we only buy organic chicken, we have made the choice to not feed our family chickens that have been treated with hormones. We have the ability three times a day, with each meal, to express our personal thoughts about food.
Image credit: Mindful Eating
When we break down the mindful eating theory that applies to our food, it is apparent that food is about a series of relationships. Where did it come from? Who grew it? What processing plant processed it? If you are a gardener, you understand this concept because you start with a seed and watch it grow until you can harvest and eat it. You are the only person involved in the process.
Another valid point brought out in the program was that home cooking does not happen in many families any more. There just is not enough time in the day to work, come home, and prepare nutritious meals with both parents working. Instead, obesity is rising because industry is cooking for us. Industry concentrates on sugar, salt, and fat for flavoring, which leaves most of us craving more. It is a vicious cycle.
If you can think of cooking as an expression of love for your family, you have begun to view food in a mindful manner. There are many Zen moments to be had in the kitchen. Michael gives the example of cutting onions, or stirring the pot. You just have to live in that exact moment in order to cook. Meals are sacred occasions, according to Michael Pollan. Cook together as a family. Make it a family ritual and appreciate each others company and differences.
How do you become more mindful of your food? Michael suggests that the simple act of cooking your own food will make you more conscious of it. Think about your food. Think about the cow that was slaughtered for that juicy steak you are cutting into. Be thankful that this animal gave up its life for you to eat. Thinking about food in that way makes it more personal than just shoveling our forks laden with food into our mouths without another thought.
Remember, this is not a challenge. This is an offering of support. If you would like to join in with your own Mindful Monday goals you can do so in the comments, or on a separate post of your own making. If you want to link back to my post, please feel free to do so however, it is not necessary. My main objective here is to give and get support to become more mindful of the things I take for granted in life.
Thank you for joining me in my pursuit of becoming more mindful. I appreciate your support! I wish much peace and joy to everyone this week.