Creating a peaceful setting around food preparation and food consumption is a vital component of the nutrition process and your wellness. Even the best whole foods will fail to nourish your body fully when you’re stressed, upset or eat on the run. While those circumstances may be unavoidable at times, creating greater consciousness around how we eat will contribute enormously to digestion, nutrient absorption and overall well-being.
A few things to consider adding to your eating habits:
1. Put love into your food.
Food is energy. It provides us with energy to fuel our body, and it is influenced by the energetic vibe surrounding it. The thoughts and feeling we’re experiencing while preparing food go into the food. If we are feeling love, appreciation and joy, those things infuse our food.
Ever notice how delicious food prepared by someone who loves you is? It’s delicious because it’s made with lots of love. If we're feeling frustrated, angry, or unhappy, that will infuse our food instead. Prepare your food when you’re in a good mood and feeling positive.
2. Feed your soul.
Commune with your food and make preparing it a celebration. Play music while you’re in the kitchen. Put something you love near you in the kitchen, such as fresh flowers. I have a collection of aprons I enjoy wearing, especially when I’m working with my favorite superfood, chocolate. Set the table in a way that is pleasing to you. Use your favorite dishes and glasses, light a candle or arrange some flowers on the table, use a pretty cloth napkin, eat al fresco when the weather permits. Do the things that will make you feel good, grateful and abundant.
3. Think about who you’re sharing mealtime with.
Your digestion is hugely impacted by how you feel during and after you’ve eaten. Our emotions influence our digestive function as much as any system in the body, so getting into a peaceful, relaxed state is important before you begin eating. Whenever possible, surround yourself with love and positivity while you’re eating.
4. Give thanks.
Taking a few moments to breathe deeply informs the body that it’s OK to relax. When this is done before a meal it prepares you to receive nourishment and begin the digestive process. When we take time to say grace or give thanks before meals, we turn on our parasympathetic nervous system; we’re switching gears chemically and physiologically. Giving thanks not only prepares us for digestion, but it also reminds us of our many blessings and of the celebration that living is.
5. Give yourself time.
Take the time to really enjoy your food. Savor each bite, really taste the flavors, appreciate the beautiful, deep colors and the interesting textures of your food. Take the time to fully experience it, to thoroughly chew your food and to feel it nourishing your body. It’s not just about eating; it’s about nourishing your body, mind and spirit.