You Feast With Your Eyes First.
This is not just a throw away phrase but a truth based in reality for the body and the soul.
When one sees pictures in recipe books or on line, one salivates, the visual stimuli is enough to get digestion started without food even being present. How important, therefore, to take the time and trouble to make even the simplest meal a visual feast for oneself.
I often eat alone and almost always at lunchtimes but go to the trouble of setting a pleasing table whether for a lone lunch in the garden, or an evening meal with company. I consider colour, texture, smell and taste when buying food and when preparing a meal. The simple acts of caring for myself and pleasing myself bring their own rewards.
When one cares for oneself, how natural it then becomes to care for others. If you generally do the cooking in your house hold, you will recognise how important this care is. Setting good habits within the family, around appreciating food and the trouble the chef has gone to in preparing it, plays an important role in the enjoyment of eating. As do understanding and discussion about how food is produced, local produce and choosing future meals together or new recipes to try.
As Robert Carrier says ‘though we have so many meals-tens of thousands during our lifetime-these meals are numbered. Each slapdash one, each one that goes unappreciated, is lost forever.’ When one goes to the trouble of making each meal a visual feast, just for the pleasure and in order to recognise and appreciate what is about to be consumed, one feeds the soul on many levels. We often hear counsellors exhorting us to ‘love ourselves’, we have to ‘like who we are’ if we are to move on and grow. What better expression of love and care is there than to nurture oneself and ones family, through the food one prepares and eats. This special attention, given to a basic need, even to meet ones own needs, reinforces the fact of our individual worth.
Recognising ones own worth is one of the first steps to reducing stress and moving towards a healthier work-life balance. Taking care to eat well and with pleasure facilitates a healthier balanced diet and better digestion. It takes so little time to make each meal a pleasure; the important thing is to develop the habit. I have found, as a busy working mum, that I often put my own needs last but with this one act of kindness towards myself, I have begun to act for my improved wellbeing and it has paid dividends. Someone has to care for the carer!
But mainly, taking the time to make each meal special has heightened my enjoyment and appreciation of the food on my plate.