I predict that the word of the year is “mindful”. I’ve been hearing it everywhere lately. It’s a word that interests me quite a bit because I hear about such positive results from implementing “mindfulness practices” in one’s life. I’ve been trying my hand at some of it: morning and evening yoga stretches (which I swear is helping my aging back perform in a back-intensive career), meditation, and most of all mindful eating.
“Mindful eating” is defined in several ways, but most simply by “eating with the intention of caring for yourself and eating with the attention necessary for noticing and enjoying your food and its effects on your body.” That last part is the most interesting for me. The noticing the effects of food choices on your body part. I feel like that has become easier as I age. I mean, when I was in my 20s I could eat junk, not sleep, not exercise and feel fine! I doubt I felt as good as I could have, but really, the 20 year old body has an astounding capacity to deal with mistreatment.
The 40 year old body—not so much. Which is good probably, because it leads me to better treatment of my body. More mindful treatment, if you will. For example, both Jason and I have noticed that our bodies are positively craving fresh raw things after a winter of canned and frozen foods (and potatoes, sweet potatoes and winter squash). Spring arrives with a desire for lighter fare, just in time for such lighter fare to be in production on the farm (I harvested my first head of lettuce yesterday!!). Maybe I’m just trained for the seasonality of produce, but I swear I get cravings for summer squash just before the summer squash harvest season begins.
As I age, I have naturally become a more mindful eater. And I notice the effects of the food I eat on my energy, mood, and general well-being. I mean, immediately. And it’s no small coincidence that the foods that make me feel the best tend to be the foods best grown during that season. Go figure!