"I suppose there are people who can pass up free guacamole, but they're either allergic to avocado or too joyless to live."— Frank Bruni

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

mindful eating

Last week, we went to the Japanese Embassy to see Eatrip, one of the films featured in the DC Environmental Film Festival. It's a documentary that travels through Japan, capturing what food means to people of differing backgrounds and lifestyles. Whether food is strictly a fuel source for nourishment, or life's greatest joy, it's something that everyone can connect through. The film touched on something with which we have become more familiar through our Lenten practice of ruminating on gathas (yes, merging aspects of different religions! It's great.) - mindful eating.

It sounds ridiculously duh but taking the time to think about every step the food has taken to reach your plate/bowl, all the people who worked to get it you and the sometimes treacherous conditions they tolerate, all the people who don't have food to eat, and the effort that went into preparing the food really enrich the eating experience. Also, doing this moments before eating, with your appetizing plate in front of you and your stomach growling, enriches the experience even more. Then, chewing slower and more times per bite really do help you experience more flavors than you thought were in your food. It's almost a rediscovery of the simple act of eating; and even more so with each different food or dish. This reminds me of Marilyn Hagerty who, although reaching the end of her 15 minutes, brings to mind appreciating food that many of us take for granted. In her case, it's the NYC dirty-water dog.

 (photo cred: NYTimes)

Watch the video of her eating her first one here.

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