By Corie Chu
Read Time: 6 minutes
In my world of holistic practices, my focus has been mainly in a variety of energy healing and other mind body approaches. I like to continue dive deeper into consciousness by integrating meditation and reflection in my daily life, which doesn’t mean I’m sitting still for hours, chanting or namaste-ing it out. To me, taking a step back, giving myself an extra moment and space to be in the presence of something, a choice let’s say, before responding or taking action is invaluable. In my opinion, it’s those little moments of reflection help us consciously develop who we are.
Many of those little moments in my day include practicing gratitude. I acknowledge and am thankful for having a roof over my head, working in a job that I love, for safety, good health for myself and my community, having access to clean water, having enough money to live, breathe, eat in peaceful conditions and even travel for leisure. But one HUGE thing that I realized I didn’t give enough attention until more recently was my gratitude for FOOD.
Sure, I definitely appreciated it when there was a hot, delicious pizza in front of me. I appreciated it even more when I became aware that every second of not eating that pizza immediately was a second longer of watching the cheese bubbling and melting within. Such a visual foreplay. And oh, the anticipation of digging in made it even better!
And there were days where I kept pushing my mealtimes later and later for whatever reason and I would end up getting hangry so practicing gratitude beforehand pretty much went out the window.
It wasn’t until last year when I was inspired by to go deeper after an “Eating Meditation” led by Plant-Based Chef, Nutritionist and Holistic Health Coach Paloma Gerber.
In her lunchtime “Eating Meditation” class hosted by The Vibe Tribe, we were asked to bring in some food of our own. I brought in a plant-based burger from MANA! Cafe. And from there, we reflected on where the food came from. We explored how it took plants and seeds to grow our vegetables, our grains, our superfoods, and that it took nurturing from the Sun, water, soil to help them harvest. And then she invited us to look at the food in front of us, really examine its colors, its shape, its creation, and then really hold it, acknowledging its the weight and becoming super present with it. Once that was complete, she invited us to take our first bite, and to take our time to chew, tasting every little bit of our food.
That first bite changed my experience of eating food forever. I’ve had the plant-based burger from MANA! Cafe many times, but it had never ever tasted so good. I’ve been eating food the wrong way all these years. I’m not sure someone can truly be a foodie without experiencing food in such a conscious way now.
That class was meant to last an hour, and at the pace we were encouraged to eat, it would probably take us 3 hours to eat a meal, which obviously isn’t practical. I joked with Paloma and said, “If we were to eat in this way, we would just be eating the whole day! Breakfast for 3 hours which takes us to lunch, then another 3 hours there that takes us to tea and then a few hours of that would lead us into dinner!”
So instead, my takeaway was to integrate a moment of gratitude before eating each meal. It takes me a minute to practice and I’d love to share what I do and see if it inspires you. It’s a nice alternative to praying if you aren’t religious. Of course, I also encourage you to create your own version in a way that resonates with you.
In this moment, I think of (almost as if it was short film playing in my head) and thank the following:
The Universe for its creation.
Mother Nature for her hard work.
The Sun, the Moon, the Stars for shining their light on plants, soil and seeds.
Water, because without it, barely anything would exist.
Insects, the animals for their service. And if there’s meat/fish in the meal, then I thank them for fulfilling their purpose in order for us to serve ours (who we then inspire to serve their purpose and so on, creating cycle of service.)
The collective human labour for creating these seeds, planting, harvesting, gathering and then packaging.
Those who created packaging for us, and all the machinery (if any) that it took to create this packaging.
Those who created these machines that make these foods and transportation so that they are accessible to the masses.
The logistic teams behind this food who organize, deliver this food to businesses (who then sell this food to other restaurants/retailers and eventually to us, the consumers).
The incredible admin teams, the marketing teams, the finance teams, the legal teams and many more who play a part in upkeeping these many businesses.
Homecooks or restaurant kitchen staff who prepared and cooked this food for us and the wait staff who present the dishes to us.
The people who created kitchenware so we’re not still building a fire and roasting food on a stick like our ancestors may have.
The design and renovation teams that made it possible to have clean resources to create this food before us.
My body for welcoming this food and I trust that it will take in all the nutrients it needs and helping me release what no longer serves.
The list could go on.
And as a Reiki Master Teacher, I also channel Reiki energy healing into food and water so that they can both be as pure as it can be when they enter my body and my family’s. If you practice Reiki, I invite you to do the same. If you’re interested in learning more about what Reiki training and what that means, please read more here.
Having acknowledged the collective efforts in creating the food in front of you, I’m hoping it may inspire you to take your own moment of gratitude to appreciate the food before you. We often take for granted just how much effort it takes for food to be on our plates.
And unless food is not properly grown or cooked or is contaminated, let’s also make a conscious effort not to waste food because that means we’re wasting the energy, time and resources from Mother Nature and the entire force of energy from people who contributed in making the presence of this food possible to you.
If you can spare a moment for gratitude before taking your first bite, I think you’ll experience a newfound joy in eating too! And of course, there’s always trying out an “Eating Meditation” with Paloma!