We cultivate many different relationships in our lifetime, and it’s no doubt that they can take a lot of work. We take time to keep them strong and nurture them; we experience some highs and lows. It takes practice and patience to keep relationships healthy, and our relationship with food is no different!
One of the most positive things I’ve done is learn to practice food-based gratitude, and it’s something I want to share with all of you. We live in a world with a fast-paced food industry and we receive a lot of stimulus from our devices, social media, and other people. It’s easy to fall into the habit of eating mindlessly when there are so many distractions, so today I’m going to share some tips and practices to help you gain more gratitude for your food and create a healthy relationship with it.
Keep a 3-Minute Journal of Gratitude.
Anyone can find three minutes in their day to do this, and it’s a simple step that can start the spread of more positivity in your life, including your relationship with food. It doesn’t matter where or how you incorporate this practice; you can use the note app on your phone, a journal – whatever is easy and accessible!
For each day, write “I am grateful to eat ________, because it _______.”
An example could be: “I am grateful to eat an avocado today, because it will help nourish my body and mind.” The great thing about this practice is that there’s no right or wrong thing to say; your journal entry is based solely on what you choose to have gratitude for that day. If you find this hard to do, it may be that you need to learn more about your food! Which leads me into the next practice…
Discover an interesting fact about your food.
A simple way to gain gratitude for your food is to learn more about it! I find that when I discover interesting facts about what I’m about to eat, I’m more appreciative of its benefits, and in turn want to nourish my body with more goodness.
Start by choosing one healthy food per week and take a few minutes to learn about it. Look at articles, watch a short video, or listen to an expert (there are some great food-based podcasts you can tune into while you putter around the house). Then, think about ways you can incorporate this food into your regular diet. Seek out a new recipe or memorize a fun fact, whatever gets you excited to eat!
Talk to a local farmer or food producer.
For most of us, the norm is to go to the grocery store, pick up some items, then go home to cook and eat them. Hop on a search engine and seek out the local farms and food makers around you. It’s so interesting to learn about how your food makes it to your table and all the care put into it before it gets there.
Reach out and ask questions; there are always people with great stories to share! Let them tell you about the steps they take in order to provide you with something delicious. This isn’t just a great way to practice gratitude, it also gives you a sense of community and appreciation for those that cultivate food.
Support your local farmers and food makers!
Learn to grow food.
If you want to get even more hands on with the food process, plant your own garden! If you’re pressed for space, even a single plant can be a great way to develop an appreciation for your food and where it comes from. Options are endless! If you don’t know where to start, don’t be afraid to speak with your local plant stores/experts.
Taking the time to care for something that your body will later consume is an excellent and practical way to practice gratitude. It’s a wonderful cycle to be a part of!
Make one recipe a week that you are really excited about.
It doesn’t need to be a challenging recipe but choose something you really want to make. Maybe there’s an ingredient you’re excited about, or just something tasty and nourishing. Turn on some of your favorite music or your favorite cooking show and have some fun! Taking some time every week to cook or make food mindfully is a great practice to incorporate in your routine.
I want to share a quick and healthy recipe that I love to make at home. If you decide to give it a try, practice practicing gratitude by finding something to be thankful for about each ingredient!
Quick & Nourishing Chickpea Salad
– 1 can of chickpeas (I use organic)
– 1 cucumber, cubed
– 1 sweet pepper, cubed (orange or yellow)
– 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
– ¼ cup of dill
– ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
– ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped
– Sprinkle of feta cheese
Start by rinsing and draining your chickpeas. In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, cucumber, pepper, tomatoes, and dill. If you want the optional ingredients, add them in with the other vegetables. Next, pour the lemon juice and olive oil over top and mix to combine all ingredients. Finish with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Enjoy!
CHN, Papillon Medical