Mindfulness. Let’s be honest, we are all very aware of the importance of mindfulness in our lives. However, mindfulness is a practice that needs to be cultivated – and what a better way to do so, if not including it in every aspect of our lives (yes, you can be very mindful when you are flossing).
We asked Stephanie, founder of Mindful Bites, how she incorporates mindfulness in the different areas that us, bloggers and influencers, will have to deal with on a daily basis.
Stephanie was brought up in a family with a long tradition of food in Sicily, Stephanie started her career in London, working in investment banking for 15 years. During her time in the corporate world, she noted striking differences between eating behavioural patterns in the workplace and what she had experienced whilst growing up; the relationship with food seemed somehow distorted, with very extreme definitions of good versus bad food, allowed and forbidden foods, almost obsessive sequences of restrictive dietary regimes, all destined to fail.
Her natural entrepreneurial spirit, combined with her passion for food and healthy nutrition, gave her the impetus to create a disruptive brand which could be at the forefront of a new trend of intuitive mindful eating.
Mindful Bites is the result of a search for a radically new relationship with food which can combine the pleasure of eating with healthy eating, based on awareness of foods and appreciation of their benefits not just on our individual health but the health of the ecosystem, by creating more meaningful human connections and more sustainable lifestyles.
How can we be more present when eating?
This requires a bit of practice and actually wanting to make the change. Mobile phone, tech gadgets, tellies should all be off; spending time reconnecting with the ingredients before they even become lovely culinary creations on our plate is always a great starting point.
I always like to ‘feel’ the ingredients, the texture, the colour, the smell; getting to know their journey, thinking of the people involved in that journey from crop to my plate.
This slows down the process of eating naturally, but most importantly it stimulates curiosity and generates a sense of gratitude as that simple food has actually had to go through quite a journey.
The one thing we can do to avoid distractions when eating is removing all obvious sources of distractions, starting from the phone.
I find that eating at set times is somehow distracting, as we are focusing on the ritual and not on the emotions or physical cues. Before reaching out to food, I ask myself a simple question ‘Are you hungry?’ – this gets me to go through what I am actually feeling, whether I am sitting down to have lunch just to run away from my to-do list, or because I am hungry, and possibly why I feel the need to run away from certain tasks.
Cooking can be mindful
Simple ingredients turning into a yummy creation is magic and art in some cases.
Not being present to observe how different foods come together, generating a pretty incredible sensory experience, would be like going to the cinema and not watching the movie; the magic is all in observing the beauty of it all. Being able to access food, to create dishes in our kitchen is a privilege and we probably do owe this to Mother Nature.