what does it look like for you to eat by yourself?
do you set the table?
we tend to put much effort, energy, & time into making meals for other people but wouldn't dream of doing so for ourselves. i've heard many people say what's the point, it's just me, too much trouble, not worth the clean up, etc. if you live alone, this may be your mantra pretty often. this leads many people to eat quick meals in front of the TV or w/ other distractions because it feels somewhat awkward otherwise. maybe it feels like taking time to eat is a waste & you should be multi-tasking. the main issue with distracted eating is that it coincides w/ a lack of mindfulness & awareness. you really rob yourself of a satisfying, fulfilling experience that eating can provide. when you are distracted, you aren't fully in the moment with the food. you aren't completely experiencing all of the flavors and textures. you may eat more than necessary because you are looking for that satisfaction after a meal. you may not be feel full 1) because emotionally it wasn't a satisfying experience 2) you ate more quickly so you're brain hasn't caught up to your stomach. on the flip side, you may eat less than necessary because you aren't taking the time to be in touch with what your body needs.
i've had so many clients that struggle with this concept and it's really more than just oh, it's too much work. once we dig a little deeper, there is usually a lack of self-worth, self-respect, or self-love. sometimes it's that they don't feel they have the right to eat. but the truth is eating is a natural, biological part of human life. and you matter just as much as anyone who would motivate you to whip out the nice dishes. YOU MATTER. have you're own back. prepare a meal for yourself that you would prepare for someone you really care about. buy flowers or fancy napkins, light some candles, set the table. make the experience of eating all that it can be.
incorporating this lifestyle change will do way more for your physical & emotional health than calorie counting or dieting every will.
so today i did just that. i made a pesto pasta salad for me, myself, & i w/ homemade pesto. i had some white wine left over from cooking the night before so i poured myself a glass. i set some pretty flowers out, portioned my food on a nice plate, and sat by the window. i took time to taste my creation, i thought about how much those roasted bell peppers really complimented the pesto & mozzarella & how different the flavor is from a raw bell pepper, i tasted each peppery bite of arugula, i thought about how next time it might be interesting to reduce some balsamic & drizzle it on top, i thought how amazing that just a couple ingredients can be put together to create such powerful flavors, & the list goes on. i know it might seem a bit dramatic but this is part of the mindful experience. food tastes 1,000 times better when you pay a little attention to what you're putting into your body.
so next time you are eating alone & tempted to rush through your meal while in front of a screen or standing over the kitchen counter, take a few minutes to create a mindful, peaceful, aesthetically-pleasing environment for yourself. even if you are bring fast-food home, take the time to put it on a plate & sit down at the table. if it feels uncomfortable, ask yourself what that might be about.
you're worth it.
blend all ingredients in food processor or blender // taste & adjust seasonings
3 c. fresh basil leaves
3 c. fresh baby arugula
3-4 Tbsp pine nuts
3-4 Tbsp walnuts
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4 cloves roasted garlic
kosher salt & freshly grated pepper to taste
toss penne pasta in pesto // add bell peppers, mozzarella, & arugula // grate parmesan cheese on top // taste & adjust seasonings
4 c. cooked penne pasta
2 roasted bell peppers (red or yellow)**
1 c. fresh baby arugula
1 ball fresh mozzarella, diced
3-5 Tbsp pesto recipe above
1-2 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese
** remove stem & seeds // cut bell peppers in half //place on foiled baking sheet cut side down & roast for 20 minutes on 450 F