“You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.”
~ Paul Prudhomme
In a life filled with schedules and deadlines, it’s hard to stop and enjoy the simple things.
Rushing through our day has become second nature.
But are we missing out on some of the most basic happiness triggers because we rush through them?
It’s no secret that food is awesome and delicious. It fills our pallets with spices and sweetness all while sustaining our bodies with nourishments.
While we can all appreciate an expensive four course meal, we tend to give little to no attention to the meals in between.
The secret to enjoying food every single day is not in eating fancier food, but in enjoying the food that is right in front of you!
As I was sitting in Starbucks this morning, enjoying their strawberry parfait, a thought came to my mind…
“THIS PARFAIT IS ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS!”
I’ve eaten this parfait hundreds of times before work, or even worst, on my way to work, but I have never tasted it like this.
I found myself sitting there astounded at how many times I could have enjoyed this parfait even more if I had just been AWARE during eating it.
Then I immediately went on to think…”How many other meals am I completely missing out on because I am not paying attention to my food?”
Below I have written down for you 6 ways to enjoy even the most basic of meals, so you will never miss out on deliciousness ever again.
1. Concentrate on the flavors.
Every piece of food has a variety of flavors to offer us.
Even the blandest of food has some kind of taste, texture, or aroma that is waiting to be noticed.
We can eat the same meal a hundred times before we notice everything about it.
There is always something slightly different, or new about every single meal.
Depending on our own pallet that day, we may be more susceptible to taste one kind of flavor over another.
Our brain works like a muscle, and we can train that taste muscle to pick up certain tastes and flavors through being aware of them mentally.
The more flavors you taste and store in your “flavor memory bank”, the more you can recognize in other foods!
All of a sudden, you will be able to discover hundreds of new flavors and aromas in foods that you have ALREADY eaten before.
2. Take it one bite at at time.
The way to make sure we savor every single taste of our food, is to take it one bite at a time.
Don’t think about your past bite, or anticipate your future one.
Just concentrate on the current bite you are taking, as if it was the only one you were getting.
When you are taking only one bite of something delicious, you make sure you savor every single flavor of it right?
Imagine that is the case with every meal and every bite you take.
A secret trick is to eat using chopsticks or a smaller fork!!
Since you eat less per bite, you get a chance to actually take in the flavors and textures of your food!
3. Don’t over indulge.
Overindulging happens once we stop caring for flavor, and focus on just the repetition of eating.
Or even worst, feeling the need to finish whatever is on our plate.
Many of us grew up in homes where the rule was “You can’t leave the table until all of your food is gone.”
And while that may be helpful for stubborn children, we are all adults now who can make our own decision to stop when we are full.
Overindulging takes away from the specialness of the meal.
For example, you may love Spaghetti Bolognese, but imagine having it every single day for 9 meals straight.
Things are only good and special when we eat them in moderation.
Overindulging can apply to eating too much at once, or even eating too much of the same thing over and over again.
In either case, the delicious taste is lost as eating becomes a mindless act.
4. Imagine it being made.
Next time you are eating, try to play a game where you imagine your food being made.
What ingredients are going into it?
Who is making it?
Where did those ingredients come from?
Imagine all the processes the food had to go through in order to end up as the final product on your plate.
When we think of food in this way, we give a life to our food.
We see it for all its complexities, as well as the beauty in its simplicity.
You can do this for any food, even a simple bagel from your local bagel shop.
Imagine the dough being made, hand molded, shaped, and then baked.
Imagine the cow the milk came from for the cream cheese, and so on.
Give life to your food and you can be sure that it will give you life back.
5. Better yet, make it yourself!
Making your own food is the best way to see the work and patience it takes to make even the simplest of meals.
There is a reason people love home cooked meals the most, especially when it is made by somebody you know, or better yet, somebody you love.
As opposed to a chef who might be forced to cook the same meal 3 times a day, 7 days a week, a home cook will put that much more effort into their food because they don’t make it so frequently.
Cooking your own meal will give you the appreciation needed to fully enjoy every taste and flavor of your dish.
6. Be grateful for your food.
Lastly, the biggest and best way to appreciate every single meal is to be grateful for it.
Even if it might not be the most delicious thing you have ever tasted, you should feel so lucky as to have the opportunity to eat it.
Food is not a right, it is a privilege.
There are millions of people out there who would kill to have even one bite of our food which we tend to take for granted.
In the western world, we forget the extreme convenience we have of going through a drive thru, getting take out, or even sitting and being served at a restaurant.
That is not the reality for MOST places and people in the world.
Places where people have to carry grains in bins for 10 miles only to have to find a pot to cook them in if their family does not own one.
Places where one has to hunt for days just to kill one animal to share with his/her family for one single meal.
Next time you go to a restaurant or a drive through, don’t complain about how long it is taking, or if it’s not exactly up to your standards.
Appreciate your access to food. Always enjoy your food. Share your food. And most importantly, find happiness in your food.
“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien