I used to have a list of “25 Rules to Live By” on my fridge. Don’t remember where it came from or who wrote them. It’s long since gone, but one of the rules has stuck with me:
What could be simpler?
Beyond food plans and reset diets. Beyond reading labels or trying to balance your meals.
What happens when you choose your food by how much pleasure you derive from it?
With one of my clients, we refer to it as the “yummy factor”. One day, while sorting through healthy variations to balance her blood sugar, she declared, “I want my food to be yummy.” And so it should be!
Delicious involves all 5 of your senses as you eat your meal.
Soak in the flavours, colours, aromas, textures and sounds as you eat.
Used effectively, though, you need to remember to stop when the pleasure subsides.
Marc David, director of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, tells the story of a client he had who loved McDonald’s and ate it every day for lunch, in the car as he drove from job to job. Since he refused to give it up in his quest to settle his digestive pain and find a healthier weight, Marc made one suggestion: take the time to slow down and really savour his lunch.
So the man made the effort to pull over after getting out of the drive-through, and he took a full 10 minutes to eat his Big Mac. At the end of the week, he called Marc to say he hated McD’s. It’s salty and fatty and its only benefit was the convenience of grabbing it on the run.
Maybe you can’t relate to that guy, so consider instead what happened to me the other night.
We were out celebrating my son’s birthday and I let myself be tempted by one of the decadent desserts: salted caramel & roasted apple cheesecake, served in a waffle cone. It looked like an artfully spilled ice cream.
The first bite was heavenly. The second still yummy. By the 3rd, I was getting overwhelmed with the amount of sugar. With the next one, I started to think how that much dairy would wreak havoc on me the next day. I was no longer enraptured with the experience, yet kept shoveling it down unconsciously.
Rather than stay engaged with my sense of fun, relish the novelty of the presentation and savour just one or two bites, I let my inner glutton take over. Sure enough, I was painfully full all evening and congested the entire next day.
Delicious involves your sense of appreciation.
Appreciation for the art & skill that goes into good food – visual as well as taste.
Such sites as Yum and thousands of Pinterest boards owe their popularity to our hunger for their gorgeous food “porn”.
Even words can fill that need for delicious. When my husband reads out the recipe names from his latest copy of Fine Cooking, it’s like sweet nothings being whispered in my ear. Roasted Beet Muhammara, Poached Egg & Asparagus Toasts with Lemon-Chive Beurre Blanc, Crispy Potatoes with Lemon and lots of Oregano.
Appreciation for the company and the setting surrounding you during a meal.
Even when eating something you cooked yourself, alone in your own kitchen, you can revel in what you’ve created. Be grateful for the care you took to nourish your body.
Can you feel the difference in your body when you bite into something delicious?
Your whole body relaxes. (If you know anything about digestion, you know that’s the ideal state for it to work at its best.)
Your entire focus pauses, if only for the briefest of moments, to fully embrace the essence. Like those first soulful kisses with a new lover.
And that’s the thing.
Delicious isn’t all about food any more than nourishment is.
I know we sometimes have a hard time getting past conventions. (My mother still thinks all I do is tell people what to eat.) I remember finding it somewhat odd – yet oh so fitting – the first time I heard someone refer to an adorable toddler as “delicious”.
Infuse your entire day with delicious from morning until night and fall in love with your life in a whole new way. All it takes is a hint of conscious awareness of what’s already there.
The delicious stretch while still under the covers.
The delectable heat of the shower hitting your skin and waking your brain.
The luscious flow of your dress sliding down your body.
The gratifying tang of the fermented carrots on your scrambled eggs.
The scrumptious smile on your son’s freckled face as he waves goodbye for the day.
The exquisite pause of being quietly alone before heading to the car.
Need I go on?
Life’s too short to drink bad wine, read crappy novels or sit through a boring movie.
“If it’s not delicious, don’t eat it.”
I spent 4+ years studying holistic nutrition. I keep up with the latest superfoods and hormone balancing tricks. I teach my clients to adjust their lifestyles for better digestion. In the end, it all revolves around that one simple rule that was right in front of my face all that time.
What were the 3 most delicious parts of your day so far? When you share in the comments, you open the possibilities for others.
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I love this blog! I also sense if we connect to the whole experience, like your Mcdonalds man, we will sense what food does not feel good for our body! It is all about connecting to yourself when eating and you can’t do that when your mind is at work on a computer, or driving a car or watching TV at the same time as you are eating!
What a wonderful concept. And how different would it be if we only ate what was delicious. So much food gets consumed because it’s in front of us and it *was* delicious about 3-4 bites ago. Somehow it’s hard to realize that it’s stopped being delicious because we’ve had enough.
I love this concept! While it is very important to eat for nutrition, it is also important to enjoy it as well. I really like how you mention that “delicious” goes beyond the act of eating and into every part of our lives. It is a very thought provoking concept. Thank you for sharing this wonderful reminder!
“If it’s not delicious, don’t eat it.” wow. so simple yet profound. thank you, cathy, for this reminder: food is to be enjoyed.
i used to hold quarterly mindful eating potlucks at my wellness studio. and one of our guidelines was to pay particular attention to that very first bite – the most scrumptious one of all. of course, the goal was to savor every meal, to invoke all of our senses each time we picked up a fork.
I am implementing the “yummy factor” and keeping it simple using “if it’s not delicious, don’t eat it” – simple, doable and effective xx