Mindful Eating

A New Perspective On New Year's Resolutions

You hear it all the time, a family member, friend or coworker refuses mouthwatering food, a delectable piece of chocolate or a scrumptious dessert because they are on a ‘diet’ or ‘watching what they eat.' Dining in front of others, they will suddenly summon the willpower for a salad - at a time when they are supposed to be enjoying a delicious meal and sweet confection.

It is a way of life for Americans to be on a constant diet; we exist in a world where we are endlessly trying to undo excess pounds gained from mindless eating.  These same dieters who will not allow themselves the gourmet party or restaurant food because they feel they are under the scrutiny of others, will be the ones who consume huge portions of food, snacks and desserts when no one is watching them.  How much food do we devour while watching television or when anxious, worried or multi-tasking?  People are packing on the pounds for these reasons, not from celebrating special occasions! 

Another example of not eating consciously is the lunch hour in America, which has all but disappeared.  People robotically eat for mere sustenance at their desk or eat while performing chores. Work has become more important than our health and enjoying food.  All our time saving devices and we still don’t have a few moments to be attentive while eating.  Eating mindfully for our health and pleasure is just not considered important enough to deserve our full attention.

Traveling in Europe, it is obvious people eat and enjoy their food, not constantly punishing themselves with self-denial.  The difference is what, how, and why Europeans eat.  They eat because they are hungry, they eat to be social and they eat because it is one of life’s greatest pleasures. They enjoy savory foods and desserts because they realize it is foolish to deny oneself the delight of food or of a sweet self-indulgence.

Goddesses and gods it is time to enjoy the banquet before you no matter how large or small.  Contemplate every morsel that goes into your mouth from this day forward.  Shut the television and tune out your responsibilities for just a moment and focus on the food before you. Reflect on its deliciousness as you chew and not on your work or your antagonists.  Savor that main course, exhilarate in your dessert and feast on that piece of chocolate. Eat attentively and enjoy yourself while doing so because you deserve it.

My friend Master Chocolate Chef Eric Lobignat from Bon Bons Chocolatier in Huntington, New York made these chocolates for me.  Now, I am definitely going to pick the most delectable piece and enjoy it - leisurely and mindfully.