Hi...I'm Renee!

I'm a busy mom who uses mindless-creativity to easily calm my mind, ignite my joy + savor life. Learn more here.

{Slow Down Mama!} Slow Down Lunch

{Slow Down Mama!} Slow Down Lunch

It's been a little while since I've posted on s-l-o-w-i-n-g d-o-w-n. And, when I think more about it, I need to be posting more on this.  It helps me greatly and I think it helps you, too!  As you know, one of my passions is slow living, and at times, I can stray away from it.  I mean, how can I not, I live in America where it's race, not pace.  

Oh, how I dream of living visiting France again and being able to take a 2 hour lunch break and just savor it all.   Honestly, I'd just love to be there savoring what all of life has to offer with them all. Well, since I can't visit France right now, I've come up with another way (American style) to savor my lunch and life.

But, first, do you know which vitamin helps you lose weight? Vitamin O!  Yep, Vitamin O!  What!?  You've never heard of Vitamin O. Well, I bet you have.  Actually, I know you have.  It's called oxygen. All you have to do is breathe, deeply, and that's it! Yep! I'm not even kidding.

When we slow down and eat our food while breathing slowly and deeply, our body fills with oxygen and relaxes and then does exactly what it's supposed to do when we eat: absorb nutrients and digest properly.  When the body is relaxed, taking in amazing amounts of oxygen and enjoying life, the weight melts off.

When we eat fast, while doing something else at the same time, taking shallow breaths and not focusing on our food, the body isn't fully relaxed, and is still under low level stress, which means less absorption of nutrients and most likely burping, bloating and not feeling good.  Not to mention, there probably wasn't any enjoyment while eating, which means the body is stressed and stores fat.

You see, I LOVE food. I love the beauty of it, the taste of it, and how it brings families and friends together. I also love high quality ingredients.  I drive miles to find the best ingredients for my meals.  Ingredients are that important to me. And quality, not quantity, is number one in my house. I view food as beautiful and nourishing, not as fearful or as a number: calories, points, portions. So when I prepare these high quality foods and I eat them FAST, I pretty much wasted all my money and time on those ingredients.  Life is meant to be enjoyed, right! Well, that goes for our food, too!

Since having Camille, I've struggled with this concept a lot.  Taking care of a little one is a lot of work and it's very easy to put myself last. I want the best meals for myself and my family.  I do make home cooked meals the majority of the time, but sometimes while eating them, I find myself completely in my head.  I'll be up and down getting something, checking email, catching up on a blog or thinking of what comes next after mealtime is over.  10 minutes later the meal I prepared with love is gone and I don't even remember what it tasted like.

Life is to be savored and the number one way to savor it is to be present in the moment. Being still. Enjoying time alone and with others.  Taking slow, deep breaths. Doing what your heart desires. Smiling. Laughing. Resting. Relaxing.  And, enjoying food.  Real, high quality food. When you sit down and savor each bite, you eat less and are satisfied.

Here's what I did the other day to slow down and savor my lunch. This is something I strive to do daily whenever I eat. And, yes, it can be difficult, no matter what's going on in life.

You don't have to be a mommy to experience this.  Trust me, I know first hand. When I was a teacher (and not a mommy yet), I inhaled my food because I had very little  "me" time at work. My lunch break was 30 minutes, but by the time I brought my students down for lunch and picked them up from lunch, I only had 20 minutes, and during that time, I'd be catching up on work email because I didn't have the time to check it while teaching.  So I know first hand how hard it can be to slow down at work.

OK! So before I ate this: Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Sandwich with a Berry Smoothie

I went out on my patio so I wouldn't be distracted by technology. I brought the baby monitor out since C was taking her nap.  I put my plate down and sat back.  I checked in with how I was feeling.  I could tell I needed to slow down more.  I began to focus on my breath by taking slow deep breaths in and out through my nose.

Then I...

looked to my left and focused on the trees and the sky. The day was just beautiful.  It was breezy and the first real feeling of fall.  It was truly breathtaking.

Then I...

looked in front of me.  I do miss the amazing tree's we had in our backyard in Virginia, but I'm so very grateful to have some tree's in our new backyard.  It was nice to watch them and hear them flow with the breeze.

Then I...

looked to my right and just admired the beauty of the blue sky.  All while slowing down my breath.

Then I...

looked below and couldn't help but smile and be grateful for this guy.  He's always by my side, especially when I have food. :)

I took a few more deep breaths, gave gratitude and then I...

ate my lunch, s-lo-w-l-y.  I chewed each bite and savored the taste all while still breathing deeply. The crunchiness of the toasted sourdough bread.  The warm melted cheese mixed in with the basil and tomato flavors.  Pure bliss! I enjoyed it so much that I was satisfied and full with just half.  I kept the other half for another time.  I then drank the rest of my smoothie, slowly, and enjoyed the flavors of coconut milk, cherries, blueberries, banana, cacao and maca.

While I savored each bite (with my 5 senses), I also savored nature (by being present with the breeze, the trees, the sky, the grass, the dragonflies, the lizards..anything that caught my eye).

This was the perfect way to have much needed "me" time while C was napping.  I felt more at ease and I felt more connected with myself. I left all the "what can I get done during this time"  thoughts behind and it felt awesome.  It was just what I needed!

I know you may not have the time to do this during the week, but why not try it once or twice a week, or even on the weekends. Tell your family what you're doing and have them join you. Or, if you usually eat lunch in 5 minutes, try adding two more minutes, or if you take 10 minutes for lunch, try 15.  If you're in an environment that will distract you, go outside and enjoy your meal.

The most important thing you can do, is to breathe while you eat and be present, no matter what's going on around you and no matter what type of meal it is.  It will help, and your body, mind and soul will thank you! :)

When's the last time you stopped and really savored your meal?  Where were you? Who were you with?  What was the meal? I'd love to hear!

{life is tasty}

{Gratitude} 365/6 Photo Project: Hot Lemon Water

{Gratitude} 365/6 Photo Project: Hot Lemon Water

{Gratitude} 365/5 Photo Project: She Likes It

{Gratitude} 365/5 Photo Project: She Likes It