Some of you may know, I am finishing up as a work/study scholar at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, CA this month. This has been a life dream of mine and a game changer. The food here is absolutely amazing! My digestive system is so happy and I haven’t had one craving. Talk about feeling nourished.
I got to work in the kitchen and help prepare food for 300 people. The ages of my fellow students has a wide range and I am smack in the middle. My 20-something year old roommate mentioned her college friends were obsessed about food, dieting and some have eating disorders. She said she will only go on a road trip with her one friend who believes that there should not be any stress around food. Wow, what an insight. We are not to project our worries onto our food. That is so not fair to these innocent vegetables.
Eating is a sacred ritual. We are not in the era where we have to hunt our food for survival. We are blessed with abundance and we have not prioritized meals and the time we allow for them like we use to.
When we allow ourselves to practice these we will set ourselves up for success:
- Ample time to eat with pleasure: Set yourself up with time to eat with connection and stillness.
- Choose whole foods that have life and vibrancy: We all crave comfort foods, don’t disregard these signals, however use them to choose whole foods that will support your body’s cravings(Check out our Cravings Guide Book)
- Rest and digest after you eat a meal: When you give yourself time to rest after eating, you will have more energy later in the day and evening. Try it, you will be surprised.
- Trust your choices: The people I notice who struggle with weight, tend to be second guessing themselves, overthinking their choices, trying to be “right” or perfect. Be present. Sometimes a piece of gluten free bread with some organic butter and ghee is exactly what you need. If you tend to “need” it daily then there may be more to it, either emotionally, resistance, rebellion, and what do you truly need?
- Know what you need to feel balanced: The oldest woman on our retreat inspired me with these words. “I just know what I need to always feel balanced & present.” Whether it is having a light lunch, taking a nap, socializing or spending time alone. These are the secrets to stay present vs. living by rules and rigidity that is not supporting you.
Actually, some of the healthiest areas on the planet practice these mindful principles. Dan Buettner, author of the “Blue Zones” & “Thrive” showed us how some areas of the continent live long and prosperous. He studied these areas in regards to why they lived longer and disease free.
- Ikaria, Greece
- Loma Linda, California
- Sardina, Italy
- Okinawa, Japan
- Nicoya, Costa Rica
“The calculus of aging offers us two options: We can live a shorter life with more years of disability, or we can live the longest possible life with the fewest bad years. As my centenarian friends showed me, the choice is largely up to us.”
– Dan Buettner
The article “The Island Where People Forget to Die” in the NY Times talks about how the people of Greece live long lives.
I notice that community connection, quality, stress-free eating times, and feeling nourished in many aspects of your life supports people to live longer in vibrant health. What daily ritual are you implementing to help you connect with your food, body, and community? Please share!
Cheers to releasing stress around your meals and meal times,
Heather Fleming, C.C.N