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Olwen Anderson's Blog

Enjoy food more - here's how

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Have you noticed that over the past few years there’s been a growing interest in food? TV cooking shows and competitions are appearing everywhere, demonstrating just how easy it is to prepare fresh, nutritious food. It’s great to see.

And we have an abundance of fresh, sensational produce easily available to us in the area I live in. We can visit farmers markets, buy produce at the farm gate, seafood that’s almost straight off the boat, and meat products that have been grown locally. We’re spoilt for choice – away from this area, that the same variety and quality just isn't available like it is here.

We’re so lucky, because creative cooking, and eating food, are some of the great pleasures of life: A meal can be a time to re-connect with family and friends, or a chance to relax in solitude.

So if food is so pleasurable, why are so many of us disconnected from it? Eating ‘on the run’; eating while multitasking with the internet; or eating unconsciously while watching TV. After your meal, are you really aware of what you ate, its texture and flavour?

Think about other pleasurable activities, like watching a great movie. You’ve heard about it, anticipated how enjoyable it will be, and made time to view it. Do you then watch the movie on fast forward to get though it sooner? Probably not. You consciously enjoy the whole event.

Why not apply this process to your meals too? A more mindful way of eating is actually going to be better for your health. You’ll digest your food more efficiently when you’re relaxed. And for weight loss, you’ll find your appetite control easier. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to register “I’m full!” – so really savouring your food will give your body time to let you know that. By the way, if your mind is occupied elsewhere while you’re eating, you might miss the ‘full’ message completely.  That’s how entire packets of biscuits can somehow evaporate during a TV show.

If you suspect you’re eating unconsciously, you could try making every meal an event this week (even breakfast!). Appreciate the food, enjoy the experience.  Sounds easy – but sometimes the most commonsense approaches are the most challenging! See if you feel more relaxed, better fed, by the end of the week. Good luck!

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