Pass the Stuffing

PC: Kayla Potts

PC: Kayla Potts

Johnson, Erynn 080333.jpg

Picture yourself on Christmas day, sitting down to that glorious, home-cooked feast you’ve anticipated all year. Why do the first bites of that fabulous meal bring such delight and fill you with a warm, fuzzy feeling?

It may be the fact that you let down your usual dietary restrictions and goals to enjoy this honored tradition, the joy and peace the season brings or the company with whom you share it. Most likely, it’s a combination of all these and more.  In fact, we probably put more thought into what it’s like to eat a holiday meal than we do about any other meal throughout the year.

Have you ever considered the implications of this? How often do you polish off your Chipotle dinner before you can say “guacamole?” Do you put thought and time into your everyday food intake?

Mindful eating is a practice with roots in Middle Eastern tradition and has been steadily gaining worldwide popularity. It centers around the importance of savoring and thinking about your food before, during and after your meal. It may seem obvious to think about what you’re eating in order to have a healthy diet, but it’s a skill that we’re losing in a busy society where social eating, adequate time for chewing and digesting your burrito and meal planning are rather scarce. This practice is important for proper digestion and healthy associations with food. I urge you to enjoy your holiday meal this Christmas, but to put down the fork after that first wonderful bite. Just chew and savor it, smile at a loved one, whisper a quick prayer of thanks and get started with a lifelong decision to remain mindful about the impact food has on your body and the blessing it is to enjoy it.

Erynn Johnson is a senior studying chemistry.