"And when he had said these things, he took bread, and giving thanks to God in the presence of all he broke it and began to eat."
Is your house so busy that family meals must be penciled in each week to ensure there are a few days available to connect with each other? Do you often feel a bit rushed, not intuned with the food you are experiencing? One way to reconnect with family and your own well-being is to say grace before each meal.
Saying grace is not solidified by the art of thanksgiving alone. It is reminiscent of the
calm, gracious elegance of living fully and well. You don't find grace said when people are rushing around, scarfing food down, eating over the sink or in the car, or polishing off a meal in ten minutes flat. You find grace offered at tables where people sit still, enjoying the moment of sustenance with those they love. Doctors often tote that there are physiological benefits to saying grace before meals. People who do it tend to eat more slowly, aiding digestion, while speed eaters don't give their bodies time to register that they're full.
Christ said grace before the last meal with his disciples. He did this to form a deeper connection with friends, food, and God. This modeling was for our benefit to remind us of the importance of the simple pleasures of life and to promote the art of thanksgiving to his father.
Six Steps of Mindful Eating
1. Be mindful while eating.
Set your mind to the present moment, forget all thoughts that pester you. Be knowledgeable with your food; smell it, chew it carefully and enjoy the flavors. By being more mindful, or body incorporates these nutrients. You'll eat less, eat more slowly, and chew your food more, which all aids in proper digestion and nutrient absorption.
2. Express gratitude.
Say a prayer:
For what we are about to receive, may the lord make us truly thankful. And may
we always be mindful of the needs of others, for Jesus sake, Amen.
Bless us, O Lord, for these, Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from
Thy bounty. Help us to be mindful of all our blessings, and the needs of those
who have less. Amen.
3. Make the kitchen a sacred space.
Buy some flowers, add some color, or post an inspiring picture or quotation. Realize that true alchemy and magic can occur in the kitchen, whether it's making a simple salad or complicated new recipe.
4. Connect to the food you eat.
You are what you eat! Your body literally takes the food, breaks it down into smaller parts and then incorporates it into your cells. Do you want to be a peach or fried donut? If we make this connection between our plates and cells in our bodies, perhaps we might choose food that is fresh and full of vitality.
5. Make compassionate food choices
Our food choices can also have another level of sacredness to them. Feel alive and connected as you choose and prepare your food. Love makes all things taste better.
6. Tap into our body wisdom.
When trying to navigate the many food options and suggestions out there, be sure to tap into your own body’s wisdom. Every person’s nutrition needs are unique, which is why what works for your friend may not work for you. If we just take some quiet time to
listen, our bodies will guide us to the best choices.
Make prayer part of every meal, and these six steps will integrate naturally.