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Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Resolution of the day: TASTE (updated!)

OK, maybe not a banana slug.  My photos on my work computer are limited-- we work with what we got.

Today's resolution:  Explore the sense of taste.  Losing weight is in the top three of all resolutions Americans tend to make.  But most of us gulp our food so fast we don't even taste what we're eating.  Mindful eating offers a chance to slow down and experience our food in an entirely different way.  Put your fork down between bites.  Notice textures and that big compadre of taste, odor.  See if you can identify the six known types of taste sensation:  salty, sweet, sour, spicy, bitter and that tricky new one, umami (savory).  Notice how the sensations change as you chew, and the food moves from the front to the back of the mouth.  Have a taste-off:  get three or more samples of one type of food-- say, three species of apples-- and really pay attention to the differences. Plan a meal of very small portions each dedicated to a different taste element.
Update:  Went to Grassroots Books over my lunch hour to get a new calendar.  While I was there I spoke to the owner, the thoughtful Jack Wolcott, and told him about today's blog.  He enthused on the importance of slow eating:  "It gives your body a chance to ready for the food, know when you're full, and appreciate what you eat".  As a result, he notes he makes much better choices about what he eats-- because bad food tastes, well, bad.

I told him about eating a piece of local cheese and how much I enjoyed it as I thought about the cow, the dairy farmer, the grasses, the sun-- all that went into what was now going into me.  He thought I might appreciate local physician Mary Ann Wallace's new book  "Mindful Eating, Mindful Life:  How to Change the Habits that Sabotage Your Health."  An outcome of the classes she has taught through Heartsprings Wellness, the book includes a CD with journaling and meditation exercises.  I am looking forward to reading it.   We have such wonderful resources in our community-- check them out.

Song of the day:  Guy Clark's Home Grown Tomatoes
Quote of the day:  "For each mouth, a different soup." --Portuguese proverb
Book of the day:  A Natural History of the Senses, by Diane Ackerman
Updated Book Bonus:  "Mindful Eating, Mindful Life", by Mary Ann Wallace, MD
Website of the day:  The Ark of Taste, Slow Food USA's project to reclaim 200 heritage foods on the verge of cultural extinction
Website Bonus:   Mary Ann Wallace on mindful eating

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