Two hundred years ago, the planning and preparation of meals dominated the time and energy of a family.
Crops had to be grown and tended. Animals were slaughtered, butchered, and then the meat was dried and preserved.
Women would rise early to prepare meals on the hearths of brick fireplaces. Every meal was prepared from scratch, every single day.
It wasn't until the turn of the century and the Industrial Revolution that kitchens became more modernized and food preparation wasn't the time-consuming effort it once was.
Then along came prepackaged foods, the frozen TV dinner, and fast food restaurants, turning what was once a day-long affair into brief diversion from other more important activities.
As we've become less engaged with the preparation of food and with the traditional family dinner, we've become less engaged with the experience of eating.
For many families on many days of the week, meals are a grab-and-go event, consumed quickly and mindlessly. There is little time to prepare, savor, and appreciate what we are eating.
No, we don't want to go back to sweating over an open fire all day. But it is valuable to return to a more mindful way of preparing and consuming our meals.
When you are mindful, you aren't racing through an activity just to get it over with. You are focused and attentive every step of the way -- noticing, savoring, enjoying, and appreciating.
So what is the point of mindful eating? With so many other activities that are important to us, why do we need to return to a more time-consuming, deliberate way of preparing and eating food?
There are so many science-backed benefits to mindful eating: (more…)