I don’t know about you, but I love to eat! When I’m with a group of friends at a restaurant, we are either talking about what we had the last time we were there, deciding what we’re going to have for our current meal or discussing what we’re going to eat at our next meal. However, as a professional chef, as much time as I spend thinking and talking about food, it wasn’t always that way.
It wasn’t until after living in France several years ago that I began to discover the joys of the table and experience food in a completely different way. I went to the local farmer’s markets and gradually got to know the people who were growing my food. By doing so, I was able to buy fresher, healthier foods, especially milk, yogurt and cheese.
Because of this practice, I became more mindful about my food and what I was eating. Food became more than something I just ate. I realized that it had nutrients that could help nourish my body. For example, milk provides 9 essential nutrients. That’s a lot of nutrition in one glass!
I know that not everybody has the opportunity to move to Paris and have a life-changing experience, however, anyone can become more mindful by trying these simple suggestions.
Visit a farmer’s market and meet the people growing or producing your food.
You enjoy farm fresh food and boost your community’s local economy at the same time. Check out your local dairy farmers in the southeast.
Involve your family or friends in meal preparation.
Not only is it fun to cook with others, but it makes the task much easier and everyone will develop a sense of gratitude for what it takes to put a meal on the table.
Say “Thank You”
Someone (or many people) worked hard to produce the food we enjoy.
Try eating a meal in silence.
When we sit at the table and eat without distraction, we can really experience the flavors, textures and aromas of food.
Try any or all of these suggestions and find yourself on a path to healthier, happier and more mindful eating!
Tamie Cook is a chef, teacher, writer, and recipe developer. After graduating from New England Culinary Institute and an internship at LaVarenne, a cooking school in France, Tamie worked as Alton Brown’s Culinary Director for 11 years. Her latest adventure is teaching “Mindful Eating.” A course which aims to provide conversation space, resources and community support for changing the ways we think about, acquire, prepare and eat our food.