Do you yearn for the days of our all sitting around a table, taking TIME to eat together,
the kids discussing their day with you, taking an interest in each other, appreciating the meal laid out in front of you – ideally the kids having LAID the table first?! Perhaps saying grace is a step too far, but certainly thanking the cook before leaving the table? Me too!
We often write about WHAT to eat, how much of it TO eat and think to the end result of eating the right things, but it’s also good to focus on HOW we do it! Being mindful is massively important, and as we come to realise that the days of meat and two veg were actually not too far off the mark, it is also good to revisit how we used to behave around a table. Certainly in my own nutritional group we pay heed to this – and it leads to some lively discussion! I call this session the Italian Supper as I still think of Italy as having great food but it also conjures up images of a Mamma serving big salads, fish and oils and the entire family taking ages to break the bread and get through it over laughter and pleasure.
We look to our own families and how we might improve our lot – even the lighting, background noise, engendering manners, who lays the table, right down to the nitty gritty of comfort (the furniture), presentation of the food, and how the kids can contribute (kids will always eat more receptively if they’ve prepped it) - and tricks to make it taste better than it actually is (we all need these on some nights right?!).
For example heavy, good quality cutlery raises our expectations before we even take a bite – we anticipate better quality so our taste buds respond accordingly. It’s the same with a good quality wine glass. If it’s refined so the wine will taste! A red plate is a good way to lose weight as we associate it with a primitive danger signal so think more about the contents on it. Turn off the TV and you’ll start to tune into cues as to when you’ve had enough more efficiently – not to mention allow the conversation to flow. But if you like a little background noise classical music – if it’s up your street - will literally make the meal classier! If you really want to get into ‘gastrophysics’ (and many top chefs are, as they seek the profit margins to match!), high pitched music adds sweetness to a meal, whereas brassy sounds make food taste bitter!
For the majority of us – let’s maybe focus on getting around a table again, turning the telly off and finding out about each others day is a start....