Conscious Eating

Meera Vasudevan 

We were sitting down to dinner recently and my mother commented: “It’s important to think about the food we’re eating and focus on eating it. This is "conscious’ eating”. We discussed this and I was left musing about it for a few days. 

Conscious eating actually begins even before you are eating – when you are cooking the food you will eat, and actually even when you are shopping for groceries. I’ve often heard my mother say that you should think carefully about how you cook your food, especially when you are also cooking it for another person. The mood or emotions you evince while cooking affect the quality of the food, and therefore, affect its taste and nutritive value. 

Not such an improbable concept really, if you think about it. Imagine cooking dinner for your family when you are feeling upset about something. You would, in all probability, add too much salt or burn a dish or overcook something. So, at the dinner table your family is eating not just bad tasting food but also food that has lost a lot of it’s nutritive values. So, be conscious of how you are cooking your food if it has to offer all its value at the dinner table. This is fairly easy to understand and pretty logical really. 

Think of any classic recipe and it has three components to it – the ingredients, the method of preparation and the timing. All this goes into a well-made dish – cooked consciously. Now, extend this consciousness to the dinner table. Consider a meal that has been cooked well – consciously prepared. You and your family sit down to dinner. 

Now, imagine you are feeling upset about something and are not really thinking about what you are eating or how much you are eating. Or maybe even how you are eating it. You eat absent-mindedly and barely notice the flavors, you load a lot of food on your plate because you are not paying attention and you shovel the food rapidly into your mouth. You are totally pre-occupied with your problems. So, you are not eating consciously. 

Therefore, you are not really receiving either the pleasure of the food or its nutritive and health benefits. The food is not chewed well, which can upset the digestive system. You’ve overeaten, which is going to cause a sense of unease in an hour and add on those pounds eventually. What a waste of a meal. 

Food that is eaten consciously and with pleasure brings so much satisfaction, stimulating the right chemicals in your system and aiding digestion. When you think about what you are eating, you also choose what you eat wisely, you take only the amount you need and you leave the table feeling light and satisfied instead of heavy and uneasy. So…that is conscious eating. 

Conscious eating leaves you feeling happy, comfortable and satisfied. It makes you look forward to eating – and enjoying – another meal just like this one. What’s not to understand about that?? 

So the next time you are cooking your dinner or sitting down to eat it, cook consciously and eat consciously. After all, as this blog says: “We eat. Therefore we are”.

1 comment:

  1. Your blog helped reinforce my need to move my family meals back to the dining table (as against heaping food on the plate while mindlessly watching TV at the end of a tiring day) where it is savored with the family in a comfy setting. The conversation then revolved around food and the happenings of the day making it a "happy meal", leaving not just the appetite but the mind sated.