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Thought For Food: Food And Well-Being

thassos

I’m lucky enough at this precise moment to be away in Thassos – a beautiful island in Greece.

thassos

Whilst browsing in markets or supermarkets, it’s got me thinking about the connection we all have together with well-being and food.

I watch with interest the locals arguing about the aroma of this pepper to that one, or the ripeness of certain tomatoes over others, butchers who go to such depths to almost prepare anything we ask, to ensure we enjoy their meat. It’s fascinating and something many of us morph into doing within hours of arrival, but often we never do at home, why is this?

We know the experience of food and eating is a delight and satisfyingly sensory.  The taste, smell, texture of food in the mouth is an easy, quick way to reawaken your mind’s connection to your physical body.

But sadly the pace and high stress that modern life brings often means choosing what to eat is often a reactionary thoughtless act, rather than a conscious, joyful choice.

How much healthier and happier would/could we all be if our food choices were more often made with greater awareness and thought?

It’s written that:

Emotional eating is often a sign of being ungrounded, where food is used as mental comfort rather than its main point i.e. nourishment”.  

In this case, food can provide a momentary release from stress or worry or, call it a pleasant distraction from an all-consuming day at work. We all know the garage bag of crisps, sweet drinks, desk bars of chocolate/bags of naughty sweets, and our old friend ‘no I shouldn’t, but I will’, happy wheels demo cake! Ten minutes later we are still hungry and want more.

I guess it’s easy when on holiday to create heightened awareness of our physical and emotional state; we look forward to that lovely dinner tonight, perhaps whilst looking out across a beautiful sea. Snacking on street food from vendors whilst strolling, waiters each trying to tempt you into their restaurant, which always serves ‘the best ever’ this or that.

But I’ve a few tips… When in a market, try including your other senses alongside sight, because the smell or feel of fruit or vegetables can evoke a sense all of well-being all of its own. Order something different on the menu; it might become a best friend forever. Experiencing a unique texture that can often be off-putting to people, but why not give it a go? One positive moment with food can change everything.

Whilst it’s true that these little tips may have no huge direct impact on your well-being, diet, career, relationships, family, or personal life etc. taking time to remember yourself and your well-being might put you in a more open, compassionate, and caring mindset.

Don’t forget that energy in itself is the first step to living life from a place of groundedness. We certainly need this in our busy lives.

For some people, meditation equals grounding. It’s not for me.

For me, its food and always will be – it brings complete happiness and satisfaction.

I would love to be able to free myself to meditate just for a minute, but it’s never been something I have been able to do – as yet!

But I can, and will, always enjoy the taste of something good and be able to savour the moment!

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