Chocolate, that wonderful scrumptious recreational food is considered to be one of the delectable ‘sins’ of civilization, which is not totally fair as there a lot to be said in favor of chocolate.
To begin with, chocolate is made from the beans of the cocoa tree (theobroma cacao) and it contain protein, B vitamins and trace elements.
It has been grown in Mexico and South America since the time of the Aztecs who named it ‘chocolatl.’ Cocoa was held in such high regard by the Aztecs that they also used it as money.
However, it would be totally irresponsible of me not to warn you away from overindulgence of this food. Unfortunately chocolate is very high in sugar, which damages the teeth. Some health therapists refer to sugar as a stress inducing food because of its depleting effect on the B vitamins. Chocolate is also rich in oxalic acid which inhibits calcium absorption and promotes the formation of kidney stones in individuals prone to them.
Like my mother before me, I love chocolate especially when it is cold, fresh from the fridge.
I firmly believe, it is perfectly acceptable to eat little of what you fancy – even if it is ‘bad for you’.
As far as I am concerned the state of our mind has an effect on the food. Have you ever gone to restaurant and felt bloated afterwards? I remember asking once after one such meal, if there was a row in the kitchen and the surprised waitress was worried if we overheard raised voices. I assured her this was not the case but the bad mood had transferred itself into the food. It is a good idea to always bless your food when it reaches the table and it is advisable to to avoid discussing stressful issues while eating.
The benefit of all food, including chocolate is enhanced a thousand fold when it is done in a mindful way.
So instead of feeling guilty after eating, let’s try something new and utilize all our senses while we are eating
- First using our eyes and our sense of sight allow yourself to look at that bar of chocolate or sugary cake. Take your time to really look, at the colour shape and size.
- Using our sense of touch, slowly, deliberately peel back the wrapping paper and feel its texture.
- Listen to the sounds of the paper as you tear it slowly open. Allow yourself to merge with the sound and become one with it.
- Then gently place the bar under your nose and smell its fragrance, breath in, right in, deeper and deeper still allowing your mouth to water in anticipation.
- Then slowly and with great reverence take your first bite and taste the delicious sweetness of it all.
When chocolate is eaten in this way, one or two squares is often enough to satisfy sugar cravings.
Note to self
As my friend Cathy says ‘I love Chocolate, me’ to which I add Hurrah!! Me too especially when I remember to eat it in a mindful way.
So you guys indulge yourself…….mindfully, until Day 7 and take a glance at your ‘homework’ for this week.
- Think of the profound pleasure you can gain from eating. Don’t rush into your food or drink, pause and look at the color and texture of the food that is offered before you.
- Absorb its aroma and inhale it, deep into your being.
- Then, with great reverence and wonderment, slowly bring the food into your mouth, taste it, savor it and stay with it.
- Above all be grateful.
- Give Thanks
- Thank the Earth for its harvest
- the elements for sustaining that harvest
- the labourers – human, animal and electrical for gathering the harvest.
- Thank the people who washed and prepared and cooked the food.
- Thank your body for processing of the food.
- Finally, thank your mind for staying still so that The Real You can savor the pleasure of eating.
In our next post we will consider other ways we can reach the Real Me through the practice of Mindful Exercise which is not only easier than ordinary exercise, it also burns up more calories, which is great!