A Balanced Approach to Wellness

Posts tagged ‘meals’

Devouring delicious meat

cooking meatThere is a way to eat meat and that is with appreciation. Appreciation for the ease at which the meat is obtained and appreciation for the ability to have meat when wanted.

The ease at which the meat is obtained: in restaurants, fast food chains, meat markets, supermarkets, convenience shops, and through the internet. Meat is easy to come by. The fuss of preparing the meat for consumption has also been made easy: ready-made meats of all kinds, whole roasted chickens, frozen meatballs and link sausages, refrigerated sliced meats and meat salads, hot and cold meat entrees—and all of these are at the supermarket.

The ability to have meat when wanted. Because meat is so easy to obtain, it can be eaten as much as desired. There are even diets that tout meat as the main part of each meal. Bacon for breakfast, chicken cutlet for lunch, steak for dinner, beef jerky for a snack. Lox for breakfast, tuna for lunch, salmon for dinner, sushi for a snack.

With so much meat available, it is easy to forget the path the meat dish took to get to the table or into the take-away bag. The ease of the access lessens the appreciation of the meat, and so people who eat meat must make a special effort to add appreciation into each meal in which meat is eaten.

Becoming aware of the meat processing industries is a greater step towards meat appreciation. Buying meat from companies that support animal care can add to the appreciation and awareness of the animals that were raised and slaughtered on behalf of the human diner.

The most important appreciation is towards each cow, pig, chicken, turkey, or fish that gave its life for the meal sitting in front of you.

||Eating Living Dishes||

Animals
eat animals.

The eaten animals
are raw except
when they are cooked.

 Cooked animals are eaten
by people.

Even when
cooked, the eaten animals
have living aspects.

Life
can never be cooked away.

When eating living dishes,
eat with humility.

from the upcoming book of poetry titled Connection.

How much meat to eat? Spiritual Presence informs me that the right amount for each person is based on each person’s need for food that is filled with chewingness. Meat is a food to be chewed, and the chewing gives rumination satisfaction. Also, people who taste food through their sense of smell have a need for meat that is usually more than they need to eat.

The health benefits of food from scratch

Green beans

This post is not about the vitamins and minerals in unprocessed foods. It is about the health benefits that occur when the food is prepared. We’ll use the snapping of green beans as our example.

Green beans can be purchased in cans and in bags, ready for cooking, or even already cooked. They do provide nutritional value, but the benefits of preparing them from scratch are lost.

Here’s what happens when a person sorts and snaps fresh green beans:

  1. The muscles in the hands and arms are exercised.
  2. The muscles of the hands and eyes are coordinated (as in an exercise for fine motor skills).
  3. The muscles in the neck are lengthened.
  4. The muscles in the abdomen are tightened, especially if the work is performed while standing.
  5. The muscles supporting the spine are exercised.
  6. The muscles in the shoulder blade area and chest are coordinated.
  7. The muscles that are used during breathing are relaxed because the action of snapping beans (if the person is not rushed) causes a slowing of the breathing.
  8. The muscles of the oblique groups of abdominal muscles and the re-absorption of water in the kidneys synchronize to optimize urine production.
  9. Muscles of the upper and lower torso move syncopatedly, which strengthens and stretches them.
  10. Muscles in the face rejuvenate when movements are focused on the work. (Talking on a phone while preparing the food cancels this benefit. Singing while preparing the food does not cancel this benefit.).
  11. Many other muscles and body parts are strengthened and stretched as well.

The list above presents physical benefits from sorting and snapping fresh green beans. Here are benefits to the other components of health:

  1. Emotional balancing occurs when the work is done with a generous intention.
  2. Spiritual balancing occurs through connection with whole foods.
  3. If the work is done with another family member, opportunities can arise for heartfelt conversations.
  4. The food that will be eaten is personalized; in other words, its role as nutrition provider is elevated.
  5. The color, texture, and shapes of the green beans at the various stages of preparation affect the senses in favorable ways.

The more a person is involved in creating the meal he or she eats, the more uplifting and balancing the experience of eating.

(This post is dedicated to my friends and family who hadn’t realized the benefits that come from taking the time to prepare meals from scratch. ♥)

Taste! Truly taste!

vegetable platter

The food arrives.

See it, truly see it!
See the colors and the shapes. See the savoring and the nourishment.

Smell it, truly smell it!
Notice the separateness and the combination.

Taste it, truly taste it!
Put a small amount on your tongue and then feel it in your mouth. Feel the texture and the flavor. Let the sensation of first bite awaken the appetite for more to come.

Eat with enjoyment. Savor the process. Chew and move the food in your mouth deliberately, tasting the mouthfuls, one after the other. Notice the swallowing. Swallow completely and then take another bite.

Notice fullness. Notice messages from the body about satiety, discomfort, and contentment. When satiety is reached, refrain from eating more. If discomfort is felt, examine the food choice and remember. When contentment happens during or after a meal, pause and breathe deeply, letting the positivity fill your body in an intangible way. The food is fuel for your physical body and inspiration for your beyond physicality body.

This way of eating is appropriate for all meals that are eaten while sitting at a table. (Eating in a car or other moving vehicle, while walking, or standing by the fridge will not provide the same nourishment—even if the food is nutritious.)

“Moving beyond survival, the eating experience can be sad and disappointing or can be full of joy and laughter. Much depends on our attitude and on our desire to be well.” … from “Vitality! How to Create a Life That Is Healthy”

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