Mindful Eating: From Field to Plate
From the desk of Laura Foresta, RD, LDN... Earlier blog posts of mine have focused on mindfulness during the act of eating – becoming aware of and honoring our hunger and fullness. Today I’d like to present two other areas of mindful eating for your consideration: being mindful of the journey the food took to get to us and all the people involved in that journey, and the effect of our food consumption on our planet.
Very few of us, if any, grow all of our own food these days. We are dependent on many people to bring us the food we eat every day. People grow, harvest, pack, ship, store, sell, prepare and serve our food to us every day. Hundreds of people are involved in this process. When you practice mindful eating, experiment with being mindful of the journey the food took to get to you, and all the people who helped make that possible. Make decisions about what you purchase based on how all of those people are treated and affected by this important work. Consider farmers exposed to antibiotics on a regular basis, or farm workers exposed to pesticides daily, and how this might impact their health and the health of their families. Consider how you treat your server when they bring your food or silverware. Do you thank them? Do you ignore them? Consider taking a moment to pause before you eat to consider the gift of nourishment, and give thanks in some way for that gift.
As we think about our own hunger and fullness, let us take a moment to think about all those who suffer from food insecurity and ongoing hunger. Consider becoming involved in your local food pantry or emergency feeding program or the Greater Boston Food Bank to help make sure our neighbors have enough to eat. Here are a couple of sites where you can help: http://www.gbfb.org/ http://www.projectbread.org
Being mindful eaters also invites us to consider the manner in which our food is grown. I invite you to educate yourself on our industrialized food system by seeing such films as King Corn or Food, Inc, or reading books such as Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Read about the environmental and nutritional impact of organically grown produce versus conventionally grown produce; or the differences between grass-fed cattle and corn-fed cattle; or the differences between cage-free chickens and their factory farm counterparts. Vote for your preference each time you go to the grocery store.
Biography Laura Foresta is a registered, licensed dietitian and nutrition coach with more than 10 years of experience in the field of nutrition. Laura provides individual and group nutritional counseling, community nutrition workshops, and corporate lunch-and-learns and wellness programming.
Many of Laura’s clients come to her after having ridden the weight loss roller coaster for years, only to come off the ride at a heavier weight and more confused than ever about what to eat. Balancing nutrition, exercise, work, and family is challenging in our fast-paced, stress-filled world. Imagine how different your life would be if you made peace with your food and your body.
It is possible to achieve your natural, healthy weight and improve your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar, all while enjoying the foods you love. Laura is passionate about helping you feel more confident about your food choices and trust your ability to eat healthfully.