When I think about my practices of eating, I think about myself, my husband, my children & others. Because eating is not just about me. Sure, it begins with me, but it's the process.
It's the selecting, the chopping, the roasting, the plating, the dining, the congregating, the eating, savoring, chewing, digesting, which encompasses this. And there's still steps I've left out. Eating can be scarfing to mindful thought. Eating can be diminished to thoughtless empty calories, ridden with guilt to simply fueling a body to get from point A to point B. Eating divides, shames, eliminates, sickens, and excludes individuals.
Essentially, we can view food & eating as a gift, or a warped trickery filled with hidden agendas. In this hashtag polluted world #grainfree #paleo #GAPS #vegan #kosher #glutenfree #soyfree #dairyfree...what is eating anyway?
These are my practices of Eating, some more closely followed than others, but all core values.
- My Primer on Food Relationships: "Food speaks. It can speak truth & life, or lies and death. It can divide or unite. It can bring fond memories or painful ones. We all have a specific relationship with food, with eating. Even in the midst of my less than moments in my own eating relationship, I want to encourage you to see this as gift."
- Removing Shame From Eating: "I became self-conscious when the summer before my fifth grade year my grandmother would call out in front of my cousins & brothers, "well, maybe if you got off your fat ass..." Only to be called names like, "fat," "heifer," & have my grandpa suggest I walk with him while the others rode so, "we could get that extra weight off."
- Introducing Food to Babies & Feeding Littles: "the amount of times a food needed to be offered before a decision was made about the food. Seven. It takes seven times to try a food, before saying one doesn't like it. Why does that matter? Well, because as parents we get seven times to offer a food with our child tasting it every time before finally they can make a decision."
- The Family Dinner Table: "Allow food on the floor, grimy hands, babies tactile defenses down smothered in yogurt plopped on their tray and little people encouraged to say, "MMM" real LOUD."
- Savoring not Scarfing: "Serving up bowls with meaty chili, soft sweet potatoes and slightly cooked kale to find a bit of heat from the chilis and woody, sweet finish of the cinnamon caused us to truly savor only the way meat cooked all day can."
- Eating for Soul Nourishment: If eating were about the nourishment alone, then God would have created food in a singular form, no variety and made it a bland affair. But, eating is just as much about feeding our souls as it is feeding our bellies.
- Why I Prefer to Focus on Eating as Sharing, & not a Paleo label: Still, there is that fine line of wanting what's best for us and others,while ensuring ALWAYS, ALWAYS they are more important than what is put inside their body. It's what I don't like about most diets becoming lifestyle which ostracize others.
- Harnessing the Power of Taste: "One of my practices is harnessing the power of tasting by continuing tasting multiple spices, combinations and foods. Our taste buds are like a muscle needing food exercise. The only way to create "muscles" there are through many food experiences."
- Without, Why Some Call it Fasting: "there's something more stretching about abstaining from food. As I say no to that "reward" or impulse decision to eat peanut butter cups from Trader Joe's (because that is a real thing), I'm gaining a strength and reliance on something more than myself. I get to choose mindfulness of the present and actually say no to the "whim of my impulses." '
- Eating Without, Cooking Without to Know the Other: "It means I am willing to lay aside myself, in order to serve the other. It means this gathering around the table is a symbol of hospitality & welcome."
- Eating Ethically: "If our jobs as humans is to steward creation; then, by choosing to eat, we should keep that in mind. We should be asking ourselves if the place in which we are purchasing our food supports both the land, the farmer, the producer, the seller? "
- Eating with Grace: "These practices of food all center around receiving food as gift from a the best giver of gifts.
It is seeing food as a grace, which is why we thank God for giving us such an extravagant feast. It is why we remain mindful & thankful of the soil, the animal, the farmer, the land, us...we all share in this cultivation of grace food."
So far this is what I've come up with. I could end up adjusting the list as we go. I'll add to these once the posts go live. Ready to begin?