The Ceremony of Food

flowers-with-lightingPausing to admire the flowers in the garden nourishes my love of art in nature.

Taking a little time to listen to the Goldberg Variations satisfies my craving for beauty in music.

Is joy a part of cooking and eating? Do you hurry through the thing, just to get it done so you can go out and mow the lawn?

Slow down a little and try engaging all of your senses by actively connecting purpose, tactile sensation, appearance, aroma, and sound, with the deliciousness of a meal or snack.

There is fun and enjoyment in devising a ceremony for food. A handful of nuts placed inside a whimsical china bowl transforms a small snack into a rather more important and filling treat. Wouldn’t it look even prettier with few bits of colorful and nutritious dried fruit?

Today I chose a minimalist black on black stoneware plate to serve as the backdrop for a perfect Fuji apple. It was fun to slice and arrange the juicy slivers into a pretty spiral of off white, red, pink, and yellow. Not only was it gorgeous, but I do believe that, because I paid close attention, the apple had superior aroma and a crispier crunch!

Pause and take a mindful breath. See if you are able to bring the fruit to life in your imagination. Would the picture be as vivid if you had just grabbed any old apple and mindlessly eaten the thing while playing on-line Sudoku? Likely not, as it is the art of paying attention to your senses that make apples so satisfying and memorable. Food remembered is more likely to be logged for successful weight loss.

It’s nice to stop and smell the roses… or the gerbera daisies. I think I’ll also stop and see, smell, feel, listen to, and taste an orange – hmmmm, which of my bowls would look best with an orange?

Peace,

Janice


Knit to Knot

washcloth-close-upI love phrases and find them so evocative of imagery and activity.

“Knit to Knot”, words I used in a social media discussion, sparked an interesting idea for further reducing my post dinner calories.

It’s easy to merrily eat and drink while reading a book or doing an extreme Sudoku. It’s even easier to inhale calories while on social media or watching TV.

But one cannot knit while simultaneously creating a crumbly edible mess. Read More


Noticing Without Judgment

flowering cactus“I cannot believe I over-cooked the turkey! And those green beans! I forgot to reheat them in the oven and had to use the microwave so they lost their slightly crispy bite. OMG, those rolls are not quite done…”

That sort of self-critical talk is not a particularly mindful way to cook or enjoy a meal. Fortunately before I said those words out loud, I remembered to pause and breathe.

Breathe and cook for peaceful deliciousness.

Breathe and eat to prevent digestive and emotional upsets.

When you cook and eat in a non-judgmental way, culinary perfection can still happen, but if it doesn’t – it’s ok. Read More


Knitting and Purling a Few Friends

Kidsilk Haze Green

Kidsilk Haze Green

One day my knitting instructor turned me lose on the world to knit and purl unsupervised. I am a knitter! Soon I realized that knitting all by myself was just not happening.

Sometimes both the practice yarn and my newly begun scarf would sit untouched for a week – or even longer if I had made a mistake and was too embarrassed to go back to the store, yet again asking for help.

After decoding my latest diversion from the pattern, a good friend smiled and told me that fixing knitting is just puzzling out where the yarn was supposed to go. It certainly was a puzzle for me. Read More


Knitting Mindfully

Yarn Bowl

The Daughter’s scarf and a pretty maple yarn cozy.

At the age of 60 I decided to learn to knit – a fun creative hobby wherein I can make fuzzy fabric designs for myself and others.

Excited with my new hobby plans, I took a couple of private lessons and learned that this firmly left handed person can, with a few style modifications, knit right handed from regular patterns.

Well, sort of.  Read More


One Simple Question

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Rigid diets do not agree with me – I tend to get rather obstinate at times and do not like being told what I have to do. So, I will tweak my way to a weight that is sustainable and healthy for me by using questions instead of silly rules.

Currently, I am tweaking liquids. It is astonishingly easy to pour a nice tall glass of unnecessary calories.

Our family loves to eat well and one thing I recently noticed is that more of our meals included a glass or two of wine – not a bad thing unless wine happens without pausing, breathing, and asking the right question. Read More


Emotional and Physical Health in a Stress-filled World

flowering cactus

You can flower under the harshest of conditions.

Has the state of the world today filled you with stress that threatens to harm both your mental and physical health?

The horrors that men inflict upon one another are not a problem of modernity. The only new thing under the sun is the sheer volume and immediacy of information.

There was a sense of security in the not knowing, a feeling that formed a sort of protection from having to acknowledge painful reality.

The world is not really different, it is the informational bubble wrap that live streaming, news videos, and social media conversations have removed.

Though it is terribly difficult to watch and read, modern media may also be what we need to change things for the better. Read More


On the Importance of Words

Adrienne Walking Away

Take a walk in nature, listen to the animals, feel the breeze, and inhabit the peace.

What does the word “diet” mean to you?

Do you associate it with exacting control over meals and snacks in order to reduce weight? Perhaps the word brings up depressing visions of resigned yet temporary self-control. Some folks deliberately step away from the pleasure of eating by declaring that food is really “intake”, to be counted, weighed, measured, and joylessly categorized.

Unfortunately, feelings of deprivation thrive in the idea that you must eliminate or fight foods that are “bad” because they prevent you from losing weight. The problem here is that power is ceded to the food, as if cakes and potato chips actively stop you from being the best you can be by reeling a powerless you in with one sultry come hither glance. Read More


Introduction to Mindful Weight Loss with the Spoon Mage

me and adrienne cropped

The Spoon Mage and Daughter of Spoon Mage

And so somewhere along the line, I found that I have put on weight that was previously lost in a most mindful way. It happens.

Anyone want to stroll down a pathway to health with me? You may need to lose weight or you might just want to prevent weight gain. Either way – please come along.

We’ll be taking a meandering trail. No stringent dieting please. No denying yourself favorite foods. You don’t have to follow any one way of eating, but you can if it suits you. Read More


Printing Mindfully

500px-Gnome-dev-printer.svg

image by David Vignoni and Wikimedia Commons

I have changed a feature of the website that I think will appeal to everyone!

Previously, when you wanted to print a recipe, the entire webpage printed. This is most annoying when all you want is a recipe and maybe a pic of the dish.

You will love the new Print and PDF button that will take care of the problem of wasting printer ink and paper on elements you do not want. Read More