photo credit - realsimple.comDo you enjoy your meals or rush through to get on to the next thing?
Do you light candles on your dining table or eat in front of the TV?
I hate to be rushed while enjoying a meal. Even at breakfast I sit down with a cloth napkin in my lap. I never can relate those who can eat at their desk at work or coffee table at home.
The Anti-Fast Food Diet from Leo Babauta includes some tips to embrace slow food.
- Stop rushing to eat. Set aside more time for eating, for shopping and preparation, for enjoying life. Stop rushing to fast food places because it’s convenient — because it’s not so convenient to be hospitalized. Instead, make time, and take things a bit slower.
- Prepare your own meals. I know, who has the time? You do. Make the time, and cook simple meals without a lot of ingredients or preparation time. It takes 10 minutes to whip together a healthy and tasty lunch or dinner. And it can be a lot of fun (get the family or your partner involved). Preparing your own meals is healthier, frugal, and you know you’re eating good food.
- Eat real food, not processed. Buy fresh ingredients such as fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts, beans, and the like. Use ingredients you can recognize, not things filled with chemicals. Don’t use prepared food if you can avoid it — microwaveable or boxed foods are not the best. Avoid processed food at all costs.
- Eat slowly and mindfully. Too many people stuff food down their gullets these days. It’s not healthy, and you’ve just consumed food without enjoying it. Instead, take the time to chew your food, to taste it, to be present as you eat.
- Enjoy the food. Fully savor each bite. Appreciate the miracle of the food you’re eating, and be grateful you have that bite at all.
- Take time to breathe, and smile. Before you begin to eat, smile, and take a deep breath, reminding yourself to be present and enjoy the food. Between bites, instead of rushing to the next bite, breath, relax, enjoy. Savor the moment.
- When drinking tea, just drink tea. When eating, just eat. Be fully present. Don’t read a book or surf the net or drive or work or anything else but eat and drink.
- Good conversation. OK, the exception to the above rule: eating with friends and family. Fast food has destroyed the good meal and conversation, because we’re rushing as we eat and don’t have time for a good talk. Bring it back.
- When you do eat at a restaurant, make it a good one. Avoid the fast food places, but also the chain restaurants (Chilis, TGI Fridays, Lone Star, Olive Garden, etc). Go to locally owned restaurants where they use real ingredients and really make good food. These may be more expensive, but you’re not supporting a corporation and your food will be better, and even if it means eating out less that’s OK — quality is more important than quantity.