Years ago a famous violin player took his time and played an hour in the metro station. He earned the occasional pound, mostly from children. That same evening he performed for a sold out theatre, where people had booked seats long in advance and paid more for a single seat then he made in the entire hour at the station. This simple experiment shows how easy it is to miss the beauty of life, the beauty of art, when in a rush. We could all miss that world famous violinist if we don’t pay attention. Missing out on the simple extraordinary things in life by being to busy or not paying attention. The same applies to food. We can all miss out on the taste of the food on our plate, an art painted with flavours, by being busy with being busy.
I’m pondering about this as we are 35000 ft. up in the air. The cabin crew comes by with the food trolley and even though I would like to eat a bit I’m quite sure the taste will be near to tasteless. At this altitude it is close to impossible to taste the subtle nuances of good food. Looking around it is obvious that most passengers aren’t aware of this. Big chunks of chips are being shoved in, followed by more before the first bite was even swallowed. I wonder how many people in the cabin eat out of boredom, trying to kill time on this short flight. As a passionate foodie I find this a huge waste. When not for survival and optimizing health, taste is all that matters. And if you do it right (and have the luxury), you can combine both.
Our body is made to savour tastes to distinguish between good and bad tastes and help us not only enjoy life but also to find the food our body craves for. Studies show that the cravings of pregnant women are largely based on the needs of the foetus. And although it is harder to measure we also know that every taste in our body affects us.
Sweetness for example makes us instantly happy the moment it touches the tongue. Suddenly the stereo typical break-up ice cream makes sense. When so vulnerable our body craves the endorphins that make you feel loved and/or save. Ice cream with it’s sweet taste and usually connected to good memories gives most people just that.
So we can see how it works in both ways. Our eating behaviour is triggered by our emotions (eating out of boredom for example) just as our emotions are triggered by eating specific flavours (feeling loved because of sweet food AKA comfort food). Not all cravings are based on nutritional needs, this is especially the case in first world countries. We usually don’t tend to eat because it is (immediately) necessary. We really don’t need that ice cream, chips, chocolate, those delicious olives from the market or another piece of extra old cheese. Without a doubt we often want it and I’m the last person to stop you from indulging yourself in all the goodness life has to offer. I would however like to invite you to do so with attention and without haste. Take your time and allow the flavours to settle on your tongue. Let the experience of eating be part of your single focussed meditation and let your meal bring you on a colourful and rich journey.
“The Coleslaw was a surprise in taste and structure. I imagined myself in a forest, strolling around barefoot. In abundance of flavours to smell, taste, discover and experience. Soft, hard, fine, warm, spicy, creamy, fresh, crispy to finally end the stroll through the forest by laying down on the grass (AKA couch) to reminisce.
The above is a response to one of our recipes. A beautiful example of someone enjoying the colourful and rich journey one can have by slowing down to enjoy what is given at that moment. In this case, a coleslaw salad.
In Japan there are many unwritten rules and etiquettes that make that most people are naturally more mindful with their actions and develop healthier habits. One example that fits into todays story is that it is a no go to walk and eat. And when it’s up to the older generations, you shouldn’t even stand. Sit down and eat with attention. Personally I like to believe that this is also reflected back in their dishes as there are often many small bowls on the table for one meal that separates all different kinds of dishes and products, keeping everything as pure as possible so that flavors won’t mix and each and every individual taste can be explored and acknowledged. The elegance and detail that is also reflected in the dishes is a form of mindfulness by itself.
To make a long story short and come to a conclusion for this first blog: practice mindful eating by paying more attention to your eating habits. Not necessarily what you eat, but how and when you eat. Food is an incredibly powerful tool to optimize our well-being both physically and mentally. Becoming aware of our eating habits is step one to a deeper understanding and, if wanted, a transformation.
For those who are interested to learn more about their own relationship with eating and the value of flavors are welcome to join the PrimalBeings course ‘(sub)conscious eating’. The first course starts on Monday evening 2nd of April. We are looking forward to working with you!
About Primal Beings:
Mark is a passionate cook through and through with great affection for using the freshest produce. He studied Western science and Eastern philosophy, in relation to the effect food has on the physical and emotional systems, and brought these together in the kitchen. Mark is a grounded nutrition specialist, personal coach and trainer.
Kimi is a well traveled woman in search of flavors and inspiration while learning about cultures, customs, and mindfulness. Always sharing knowledge from her own experiences in different corners of the world. She is a movement artist with a big appetite for not only knowledge and personal growth, but also for what Mark conjures up in his kitchen.
Together we are the Heart and Mind of Primal Beings.
Our Mission is to bring people closer in connection to themselves through movement, nutrition, and relaxation. These are the three pillars of Primal Beings.
Educating others to become more aware of our subconscious decisions to subsequently improve the quality and understanding of life.