Do you feel as though you are grateful for food as a whole? Do you actively have gratitude for your food? Why or why not? Why is this important?
My sense of gratitude towards food started changing when I began eating fish again while I was in Brazil. I’ve been vegetarian for almost 20 years, but after two years of living on and off in Brazil, it was the first time I ever felt like I was suffering, health-wise, because of my vegetarianism. Unlike the US, Brazil does not have access to the same wide-variety, and affordable, plant-based foods. As a result, I was very much missing certain vitamins and macronutrients from my diet.
Yet because my choice to be vegetarian comes from a place of personal ethics, it was an extremely hard decision to make. Before eating fish, especially for the first time, I find the need to pause to appreciate that animal life that is helping to sustain my own.
Now that I’m back in the US (and subsequently back to a full vegetarian diet), this gratitude isn’t quite as pronounced. However, the habit of pausing to give thanks for my food has stuck. Before I eat, or especially when I go grocery shopping, I find myself grateful and overjoyed for the sheer amount of options I have available to me here and that they allow me to live in alignment with my personal belief system.
Doing this has helped to change my relationship with food. Rather than seeing it as fuel or something that I struggle with, it becomes a source of gratitude and joy. Gratitude in that, even when I’m eating a pescatarian diet, food helps me to sustain myself and feel better. Joy when I get to try new, healthy, fun foods that are accessible in the country where I live, which includes all the work and transport it took to get that product in my hands. It helps to put food in a very different perspective for me.
Black Iron Nutrition is offering a 30 Day Mindful Eating Challenge that includes journal prompts and tasks to help bring more mindfulness to our relationships with food. And I’m in! This post is in response to today’s prompt to keep myself accountable and get the most out of my participation. If you’re interested in joining the free challenge, sign up at Black Iron Nutrition’s website here.