Psst hey, have you heard of mindful eating or intuitive eating and drinking? It’s all over the internet and in every magazine. We all tend to eat while doing many different things:
- Playing on our phones,
- Watching t.v.
Lately, I do it too. I shove food into my mouth and gulp drinks without tasting or truly enjoying the flavours or the textures. Mindful eating is about paying attention to the food or drink that we have chosen to partake in. You know, fully taking the time to enjoy every bite or sip. Like we all used to when we were kids.
There was always something so exciting about going visiting. It made me so happy just thinking of what goodies lay in other people’s fridges and cupboards. Yes, even as a child I thoroughly enjoyed food. The first time we visited this one aunty we were offered hot chocolate. Like most children, being offered Hot Coco was the best offering that had ever been offered! I thought maybe I could get mine quicker if I offered to help in the kitchen. I was told to stir this pot and wash that, none of which had anything to do with my hot chocolate. Terrified that I had been tricked and that there was no hot chocolate to be had in this kitchen, in this house, or in this world again, I skulked over to the small kitchenette and re-arranged a few things. “Would you guys like to have cookies or popcorn with your hot chocolate?”
As though it mattered when all I wanted was hot chocolate. Then it occurred to me what a strange choice it was to make between cookies and popcorn. Being far more into salty snacks than sweet, I chose popcorn. This was a choice which my siblings would berate me for later on that night. Really who eats popcorn while drinking hot chocolate? I do believe my taste buds had a moment of confusion. Aunty then asked me to get out the cups and start scooping the powdered chocolate mix into the four cups. In doing this task I made sure to give myself the most powder in my cup. Far more than I had given my sisters and my brother. I smiled to myself while scooping, thinking this was the greatest plan I had ever hatched.
Next, Aunty asked me to stir the one large, persistently boiling pot. Looking back now, I’m sure that what was in the pot was trying to get out. And that it was not any sort of boiling action I had ever seen in my parent’s kitchen. I was a cautious kid so I opened the lid as carefully as possible trying not to get burned by the rising steam. When I looked into the pot it was the biggest pink and red spotted, bumpy coiled up thing I had ever seen. Aunty must have seen my stomach turn inside out at the site of it. To “put my stomach at ease” she proceeded to inform me that; “it was cows tongue!” After I nearly fainted I swear to every reader reading this blog, the tongue stretched out of the pot and very slowly yet quickly enough for there to be no witnesses… the tongue with its sticky, rough endings licked the top of my stirring hand. I dropped the spoon on the parquet floor and ran out of the kitchen so fast that the brown and yellow beaded curtain separating the kitchen from the living room knotted into one. It dawned on me that my hot chocolate may not get out of there alive with that cow in there. Looking over my shoulder as I ran I jumped into the couch beside mom and whispered to her that aunty was cooking strange things. Mom glared at me. I knew from previous experience that this meant stop talking NOWWWW! So, I did.
Silently, I waited for my hot chocolate while simultaneously regretting what I had seen. Thoughts of what cup I had put all the chocolate mix in floated through my mind. Was it green, was it blue or red? Did it have, flowers or stripes? As my memory failed me, and all hope was lost, Aunty came out of the kitchen carrying the tray of hot chocolate. This was my solid confirmation that the cow hadn’t gotten to any of her limbs. She placed the tray on the living room table and handed each of us our cups. I took the one that was handed to me wondering if it was the extra chocolate one. Rudely I sipped from my cup and was warned by both aunty and mom that it was hot. Ignoring all warnings, I sipped more and tasted the froth from the sides of the cup. It was sooooo good, even if it wasn’t the one with the full dose of chocolate-ness. I looked at my siblings and they all seemed happy with theirs too. Aunty turned on the tv and we watched while drinking our hot drinks.
As I took my next long sip and tilted my head just a little to the side to catch my breath, I saw it.
It was quickly wobbling up the wall as though on an incognito mission. I looked at my eldest sister who saw it too and shrugged at me. So I kept on drinking my hot drink. It was sweet, warm and deliciously milky good but, I was now more positive than ever that it wasn’t the extra chocolate one but, still soooo good. I put it down and grabbed a handful of popcorn. While chewing the popcorn it then occurred to me that the cookies would have been a better choice. As I thought to pick up my hot chocolate to continue drinking, something small, shiny and dark passed my eye. I picked up the cup and took a sip. This time tilting the cup further back and towards my mouth so I could fully enjoy the goodness. As I did that, the unwelcomed tips of sickening jointed legs or antennae, ever so gently grazed against my top lip. I closed my eyes in denial because I didn’t need to see it to confirm… luckily, I hadn’t opened wide for that sip. The cockroach had dived into my hot chocolate from its long journey across the popcorn ceiling! I squealed and then regretted it, nearly throwing the cup of hot chocolate on the living room table. Aunty never saw or she pretended. Mom knew though, she covered the drink as though I had finished it. She then told me with her eyes not to say anything about the diving cockroach. After all of my hard work in double and triple dosing my cup of hot chocolate, it was my destiny to never reach the thick creamy ending of my own delicious chocolate milk.
Sitting there trying not to cry stuffing away my tears with popcorn and t.v. They all drank their hot chocolate and ate their popcorn while guarding their drinks to avoid what had happened to me. So yeah, I’m trying to practice mindful eating! Not just because it’s a good practice but also because I can only imagine the things we could all be eating without realizing…
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