Before we take the first bite of any meal, our eyes are evaluating and processing how delicious a meal is going to be. We have all heard that digestion starts first with our eyes, as our mouth begins to salivate over our food. This past week as I ate my way through the local food scene in Atlanta – I got to practice this very skill. Knowing that I needed strong photos to convey just how mouth watering the dishes were, I paused before taking my first bite and instead took a photo of my plate. Here is what the process taught me:
- We as a society rarely take the time to take in what we are eating through our eyes
- Taking about 30 seconds to simply look at my plate allowed me to pause and be in the present moment
- I noticed the colors, textures, and multitude of ingredients that went into making the dish both beautiful and delicious
- I was able to really smell my dish and see what the overall aroma of the dish was
- I paused to honor the preparation it took to make the dish and “ooed and awwed over it”
- I didn’t over eat, I stopped when I felt full and satisfied
The simple process of taking a picture created a food “experience.” It allowed me to slow down and helped me be a conscious consumer. Tasting each bite, pausing, sharing the flavors with my friend and repeating helped me learn how to experience my meal. The result was rewarding and satisfying.
The same thought can be channeled into your meals at home. The beauty of this process is that it can begin at the market, choosing foods that catch your eye and interest you. Pausing as you prepare your foods in each step of the recipe will create a full appreciation of your meal. Sight is a powerful thing, take the time to feast with your eyes.