Sunday, September 9, 2007

Enjoying every bite

I haven't been feeling well lately. I'm not sure what's wrong exactly -- could be the heat or could be I've just been pushing myself too hard. I find few foods appealing and stick with bland, starchy, "safe" foods and peppermint or ginger tea. I feel up to cooking about every three days.

On Friday I went to Panera Bread to get a bagel for lunch. I chose Asiago, Cinnamon Crunch and Blueberry to take home and got myself an Everything. I knew it was risky, dried onion and poppy seeds, but after not wanting anything to eat for so long, I gave into this craving. I suffered no adverse effects, but that's not my point.

I slowly bit into the bagel and chewed the small bites well before swallowing, not daring to eat fast and shock my system. I noticed something for the first time. There are flakes of kosher salt on Panera's Everything bagels. Sometimes I was conscious of my tooth crunching down on one but more often I felt a salty "pop" on my tongue. It was very enjoyable. I've been reflecting on how fast I eat and how well I do or do not taste foods. I "know" what an Everything bagel tastes like, right, so my brain overrode, until now, my tastebuds as I gulped down the meal I "thought" I wanted and I "thought" I was having.

To really enjoy food and life, don't eat on autopilot. Don't work from memory. Taste every bite, and for goodness' sake, if it doesn't taste "good" -- if it doesn't bring you pleasure or satisfaction beyond satiating your hunger, then stop eating it.

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