Saturday, 25 January 2014

Die augen essen mit

I've mentioned my old university roomie German Nat before.  The one who would leave half a chocolate bar lying around.

How could I NOT enjoy this?
She also had a saying which roughly translates as: "the eyes eat too".  I have no idea what the context for her saying that could possibly have been since I recall a lot of lentils and rice getting eaten in our house, but that saying has stuck with me for 20 years.  I remember it when I am presented with an artfully arranged meal, like the slice of chocolate cake served on a Via train that's the banner at the top of this blog.  You can bet I ate that cake slowly and enjoyed every single bite.  I should mention that this particular piece of cake was enjoyed prior to my mindful eating days, so there is a possibility I was already quite full before I started eating it.  The point here is that it looked so nice I took my time to appreciate it instead of shovelling it down like a barbarian. 

What do you know?  Most mindful eating experts talk about die augen essen mit, although they might not use those words.  A good exercise is to prepare meals so that they are aesthetically pleasing on a nice plate, instead of standing at the fridge eating whatever it is right out of the jar.  Doing so nourishes us visually and physically - our brains get stimulated and satisfied more than one way.

A friend just sent me a flowering jasmine tea.  Another friend had given me a glass mug designed specifically for enjoying such a tea.  Having that tea reminded me of good ol' German Nat and her die augen essen mit.  Before my first sip of tea I watched this tight little owl pellet slowly unfurl into an enormous flower.  Then I watched its essence infiltrate the hot water as it "steeped".  Many minutes later it was actually cool enough to safely take a sip.  If only more of our food was like that - designed to be appreciated visually and enjoyed slowly. 

Coffee shops have it right - that little heart or leaf they draw in the foam of my mocha enhances my experience (and makes me feel like that was 4 bucks well-spent).  This perhaps may be going too far though:
this cafe will put your face on a latte...


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