I recently visited with my mother in Ohio for a few days. One of our favorite mother-daughter activities has always included an afternoon of browsing through a bookstore followed by dessert and coffee in the bookstore cafe.
As we sat to share a slice of pumpkin cheesecake and sip our hot cinnamon coffees, my mom told me that she paged through a book by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk, about being mindful.
My mom said the excerpt she read was specifically about being mindful while eating. It was interesting that my mom mentioned the concept of mindfulness to me because I had just observed how focused the woman at the barista seemed while warming up the milk with the steamer, then spooning the foam into our cups. She appeared to be placing much care in preparing our coffees.
I shared my observation with my mom and as we each took a bite of the sweet, soft cheesecake, we began listing all of the people who had a part in making our dessert.
We first acknowledged the woman who just served the cheesecake to us and the barista worker who had placed the dessert in the display, as well as the bookstore inventory clerk who unloaded it from the truck. We thought of the delivery truck driver who brought it to the barista, and the baker who made the cheesecake and decorated it with the perfect dollop of whip cream. We didn’t forget about all the people at the whip cream company and the cheesecake filling company as well as the workers at the packaging companies for all the individual ingredients. Then we remembered the farmers who worked at the pumpkin patch too, and so on and so forth.
We determined at least twenty or more people had a part in this one delicious slice of pumpkin cheesecake, and we felt grateful to be the recipients of such a scrumptious dessert through all those hands. And in some ways the pumpkin cheesecake tasted better because of it!
After we finished my mom laughed and said, “We really took our time! I’m usually the one at the table who eats too fast.”
I told her, “Me too! We’re a family of fast-eaters. That can’t be good for digestion.”
We both agreed it would be better to take our time while eating in the future for our minds and our health.
More information on Mindful Eating here: http://www.tcme.org/about.htm
What are your experiences practicing mindful eating? What other activities can be practiced in a mindful manner?
How inspiring — it’s mindful eating meets a case study in supply-chain management! I’ve always struggled to be mindful of my eating (beyond, perhaps the first bite or two). The example you provide resonates with me because it takes us away from my often-neglected kitchen and into Starbucks where much of my mindful-less consumption takes place.
Thank you for sharing!— JGG / February 6th, 2010 at 1:51 pm
Thank YOU for the kind words, JGG! I suppose there’s also the element of breathing and taking in taste and texture while practicing mindful eating…as well as not checking the smart phone. Something I’m working on too.— Amy Dixon Drouin, RN / February 6th, 2010 at 3:12 pm
Yes it has explanation, which is very simple. What ever you are concentrating on while eating is like putting that into your system. So, it must be positive thing, and concentrating on your meal is ensuring that all the nutrients go where they suppose to go for the best of benifit.— Yelena / February 9th, 2010 at 10:19 am