Bring back Grace? Could saying grace an OG form of mindful eating?
Over the course of the class we have been doing intermittent mindful eating practices. During our last one, I was reminded of my childhood when we traditionally said Grace before meals (though we were a secular family). This was a time when we came together, holding hands, smiling at each other and our food. We were silent until my mother spoke, “Bless the food that nourishes our bodies and bless the love that nourishes our hearts”.
Our ability to see our place in global foodscape may be directly linked to the degree we practice mindful eating. It was as simple as taking a few conscious breaths, gently smiling and acknowledging each other’s presence while holding hands. Saying Grace was the way my family appreciated the food, how it came to be, and the love that connected us to that food. In this moment of quietness and peace we allowed ourselves to reset and connect to the food before us. We were at ease before we started eating. A way to enter a meal, to slow down, appreciate and then begin to eat in a way that appreciates the work that went into making the food, the farmers that grew it, and the earth as a whole. The sounds, colors, smells and textures of both the moment and the food would come into focus as we paused to appreciate- before taking our first bit. As we slowly ate, the first things said were usually “please pass the… “garden grown green beans, garlic-butter mash potatoes ..etc..” by calling the food by its name we acknowledged its true nature. We revealed the presence and or absence of toxins in the dish. These traditions were a way I am just now realizing my family traditionally brought mindfulness to family meals.
Cultures across the global and throughout time have expressed gratitude for their food and for the earth before eating. Perhaps the few seconds you take to give thanks, appreciate how the food got to you and your own place in the world is just as important to your health as how you eat the food (though I would bet they are interdependent as well).