Daily Archives: October 7, 2009

Eating as Recreation

Me and food, we’re close. Real close. I have wonderful memories of me and food that go way, way back to my early days. But, as sometimes happens with good friends, we grew apart. But I couldn’t live without food, so I began to use her. I would read, and eat, but wouldn’t pay any attention to her. No longer cared about the details of what I was eating, as long as it tasted good. Yes, I suppose the food offered more than just a sweet, pretty face, but I was more interested in doing something else while I ate.

I noticed my children had picked up this habit, and even though we would occasionally eat a meal together, when my children ate alone or with another person, they would inevitably read all the way through the meal, including and not limited to the time they carried their dishes into the kitchen.

I decided on October 1st we were going to have two new rules here. One: no eating anywhere except the table. For us, this would mean no more eating in front of the computer, or in front of the tv, or in our rooms, or walking from one place in the house to another. Big change. But the second rule was bigger. Two: no reading while eating. We would now have to carry our food to the table and just eat it.

It’s been a week. Here’s what I have noticed. I am eating less. No longer just something to do while I turn the pages of a book, I have to be intentional about sitting down at the table and eating. This takes time! Until this past weekend, I could easily justify killing two birds with one stone, eating while doing the crossword puzzle, eating while reading a novel, eating while going through the mail. As I realize what it means to over-consume, I have realized that over-consumption doesn’t just mean eating too much food! For me it also means treating food as entertainment, as filler, as recreation. No!

The picture? It is the grape stem I finally noticed today. Now that I have nothing to distract me from the food, I am looking at the food. I had never seen these long, long roots that connected the grapes to the vine. A few stems only had short roots around the edge. I suspect this happens as the grapes ripen and are ready to pick. But you can see that there are very long roots on many of the stems. What else have I missed as I’ve distracted myself from the food? I am looking forward to those discoveries.

Bon appetit!