One of the wonderful gifts of being human is the pleasure we can get from food. All of the flavors and textures that can be found in the different ethnic foods we eat are almost magical. The range of possibilities seems endless; spicy and sweet or pungent and sour, creamy or light, to name a few.  We live in a world where many of us have access to pretty much any kind of cuisine you can think of. And yet many of us struggle with food. We may enjoy consuming it but shortly after, we are full of guilt. “Why did I eat that? Why didn’t I choose something better? I’m getting so fat! I’m so full!” These are some of the things going through our minds after a meal. Why is it that we have this relationship to food? Why is this basic need such a struggle for so many people? I believe that, as a society, we have lost touch with the preciousness of food and instead, consume it mindlessly, being led by persuasive advertisement and false cravings.

How can we break out of this cycle of pleasure and guilt to truly allow food to be what it is meant to be; life sustaining, energy giving and healing? We must learn to eat consciously. This sounds so simple and it really is. Here are 2 questions to ask yourself before each meal to begin eating consciously:

1. WHO AND WHAT MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO HAVE THIS FOOD?

I like to think about the people who helped bring me this food and how they cared for it until it was ready to be consumed. I know I could never provide much of the food that I consume on my own so I am eternally grateful for all the people that work to make sure I get fed. I also like to think about the natural world and how it sustains us. The amazing miracle of all the plants we eat and the healing power that can be found in many of those foods. Try taking a moment before you begin your meal to really appreciate how it got there on your plate.

2. HOW WILL THIS FOOD I CHOOSE MAKE ME FEEL?

Everyone loves to eat deliciously decadent food but at what cost? If we were to stop and ask ourselves this question before we made the decision, we would probably make better choices. This is really not meant to take the pleasure out of eating, I assure you. Our body really does want what is truly the best for it and eating wholesome and healthy food can be as satisfying and certainly more life sustaining than the less healthy choices. Once you have begun to choose the foods that really make you feel good you will begin to find pleasure in your choices. There are so many wonderful foods that we can choose from that make us feel alive and vibrant. Choose those! You will not regret your choice.

I know that there are many people who talk themselves out of these better choices because of the feared extra cost. That has always been a struggle for me, as well. But I finally had to see the truth for what it is; I could pay the price now or I could pay it later in medical bills. And in the meantime, the quality of my life was being compromised. I woke up to that truth and can honestly say I have never regretted paying the extra cost for eating consciously. Peace of mind and a healthy body are precious and priceless. Think about it.

Connie Briceno,

Daily Zen.

Author Bio – Connie is an educator who works with teachers in their instruction and relation/interactions with students, always with the goal of supporting others to find their higher selves. She is a lifelong yoga practitioner and meditator and enjoys daily walks in nature.

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