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Mindful Eating

August 13, 2011

Here’s the honest truth: I don’t cook myself anything special for most meals and I usually am distracted while eating, tippity-tapping on my laptop or mouth agape, watching the latest reality tv stars bicker. That truth – my truth- is not okay with me. That’s because it doesn’t fit with my general life philosophy of appreciating each moment as it comes while living in a way that is thoughtful and compassionate.

I’ve been spending a significant time at Barnes & Noble lately (sorry, Starbucks, lots of love!) and earlier this week, I purchased The Natural Kitchen: Your Guide to the Sustainable Food Revolution by Deborah Eden Tull. It’s a very helpful guide to working towards creating a more sustainable lifestyle, especially with regards to shopping, cooking, and eating out. It includes awareness exercises, checklists, and a nice glossary (for those of us who might not know the exact meaning of words like “wildcrafting” or “xylitol”).** I recommend it if you are at all interested in learning about sustainability and what your personal role might be.

In her book, Deborah Eden Tull, who interestingly enough is also a Zen Buddhist monk, addresses my problem — eating mindlessly far too often. She suggests setting aside at least one time per week to carefully prepare a beautiful meal and then to enjoy and savor it, without the distraction of technology. It is my goal to do just that more often each week.

So this morning, instead of simply pouring my Kashi Go Lean and almond milk into a bowl and calling it breakfast, I took the time to make myself bran muffins with raisins and an egg white omelet with feta, arugula, red bell pepper, and onion.

I usually make my muffins from scratch, but my mom gave me this box of bran muffin mix and I decided to use it. I highly recommend it because it makes a good bran muffin base for you to add whatever you like – raisins, chopped fruit, walnuts, honey, etc. The only extra ingredients you need are a Tbsp of butter, an egg, and 1/2 cup of milk (I used unsweetened almond milk, since I’m supposed to be avoiding soy due to my hypothyroidism and it worked just fine).

I plan to keep track of my progress on my journey to mindfulness. I hope you will take the time this next week to sit down, whether you are alone or with those you love, to a special meal and to slowly take it in each flavor and smell.

“There is no enlightenment outside of daily life.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

**Wildcrafting: “the practice of harvesting plants from their natural, or wild habitat, for food, medicine, or other purposes.
Xylitol: “a sweetener made from vegetables, mushrooms, berries, but most often from birch. It is a sugar alcohol and is known to be good for the teeth.”

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