Most nights if Joe is working late, it leaves me eating dinner alone. Don't feel too bad for me, I enjoy plenty of meals with family and friends and sit with Joe while he eats, even if I've had dinner hours earlier. Busy lives, I know you understand.
So if dinner means a table for one, I usually set my place on what we like to call 'the perch' our bar stools along the kitchen. It's a happy place where I've enjoyed many meals and usually where all the action is when we have people over. It mounts you high up for a nice view of the kitchen, my photos and art work on the fridge and is cozy and comfortable.
On a recent trip to the perch, I set my plate down and realized I forgot my fork and knife. Dork. Now if you know me, you know I'm vertically challenged so jumping back off the perch once I've secured my seat up there requires more effort. By the end of the day, I was not in the mood to jump back down again, so I just said, 'screw it I'm eating with my hands.' I know, don't judge me.
It wasn't anything too sloppy like soup or salad. It was a colorful plate of real food veggie sticks, hummus, kale and I forget what else. So I dove right in with my paws.
A few minutes into dinner, I actually found this to be a fun way to eat and at that point into the meal I knew this post was born. I needed to share what I was discovering. I felt this true connection to my food. I was touching it and playing with it, just like a child would do. Now don't get me wrong, I wasn't wearing a bibb and smearing it down my shirt, but it was pretty cool picking up my food and eating without utensils.
It reminded me to stay connected to what I'm eating, how I nourish my body and focus more consciously on what I put on my plate each day. Small healthy habits that over time add up to a better you. Over the past several months, I've been practicing more mindful eating and this 'play with your food 'dinner really made me feel the good about how I take care of myself each day.
More mindful eating on the perch has been something I've been working on. Not having my phone near me, a podcast on or anything around me while I'm eating. Just me, usually a fork...and my food. It has helped me feel more full after a meal. It's also a break from working and it's an important time to nourish my body and soul. Being still in the moment and present with my plate.
If you always eat alone or in the company of a gadget, give this a try. Maybe just starting with one meal a week and see how you do. It can be challenging, but stick with it. I've really noticed a big difference in my meal time and feel more nourished.
While at The Healthy Living Summit Conference I was lucky enough to hear registered dietician and author, Dawn Blatner speak about this topic. She shared some wonderful mealtime mantras to remember while eating. One that always plays in my mind is 'Sit, Table, Plate' . A gentle reminder to sit down, at the table and enjoy your meal. Dawn also has such wonderful advice on how to add in more healthy food choices. You can find more information about her work here. I've met her a few times and love her energy and spirit.
Healthy Take Away Tip:
Eat with you hands. Connect with your food. Enjoy more real food. Be happy & healthy!
Wishing you all a day filled with colorful food play. Enjoy all your meals, smile and live your best life.