A Mindful Eating Exercise to Connect With Mother Earth


Happy Earth Day!

Today is the day that we celebrate and honor our provider Mother Earth.Mindful Eating to Connect to the Earth

I often find myself dreaming up big ideas on how I will show my fondness and give my due respect on this day, only to recognize the next morning that…alas! I’d fallen short on my commitment to plant a tree or convert that old milk bottle into a bird feeder.

This year will be different though, for a couple of reasons.

First, I don’t need the ground to be thawed out in order to fulfill my commitment. Second, this year things have to do with food, and anyone who knows me knows that I am ALL IN when it comes to an event around food.

This year I commit to give thanks to Mother Earth each time that I eat.

Think about this one, if the intent of this day is to raise our awareness for the earth and to give thanks to all that she provides, what better way to do it than to create a consciousness each time we eat. That is certainly something that she has provided us with.

Please, join me in this! Let’s make this year’s Earth Day a mindful eating experience.

To do so, let’s take the principles of mindful eating a little further and center the approach on where our food comes from.

Mindful Eating: Gratitude for Mother Earth

1. Fruit

Take a piece of fruit in your hand, most any will do.

Say it’s an apple. Now find the place on that apple where it was once attached to the tree where it grew. Find the stem.

While looking at the stem, imagine the tree that it was once attached to. Is it a big tree in an old growth part of the orchard or is it a baby tree that is only a few years old? What does the landscape look like? Look around — are there rolling hills around it?

Now bring yourself back to the apple that’s in your hand and begin to eat it, and as you do continue to use your imagination of how that apple came to be, how it got from that tree and into your hands.

2. Roots

Eat some roots today.

Potatoes work. What type of potato is this? Did you know that there are over 4 thousand different varieties of potato? As you wash and slice these potatoes imagine them not so long ago underneath the soil buried under Mother Earth. They were under the ground.

3. Greens

Make yourself a big fresh salad. Put all you want on there, but be sure to use some nice crisp leafy greens.

Did you know that most greens are over 90% water? How did all that water get there?

Well, in your mind go back to the place where the lettuce grew. Imagine the field with all of the rows of other lettuce plants around it. The water came from the rain that fell on it.

Did you know that’s also how our food gets its minerals? Plants don’t make minerals, minerals are in the soil and when the rain falls and drains into the soil, the water picks up the nutrients and transports them into the plants.

Cool right? As you eat imagine how you are nourishing yourself with those minerals that were only days ago within the soil.

4. Cake

Have some cake. Now imagine the ingredients inside that cake. What are they?

Well there’s sugar so where does sugar come from? Its likely cane sugar since most of the sugar we use is. And it probably came from Brazil, or maybe Asia. So in your mind, go there – imagine yourself standing in a field of sugarcane. It’s tall like bamboo so imagine it swaying in the warm breeze.

Cake is a fun food for this exercise since there are lots of ingredients within it. Did you know that vanilla is a type of orchid that grows up trees? The flowers of the vanilla orchid are beautiful.

See, this exercise is pretty cool! Have fun with it. You can even do this with beverages like tea, or water.

Adjusting the Way We Think

My intention here is to create an exercise to do today that doesn’t take much effort but can be a pretty profound little experience for us. One we can do at our office desk. A mindful eating exercise that is doable and quite remarkable.

The more I think about you, the reader, attempting this at home the happier I get. Your willingness to take part in this day shows me you’re willing to begin or continue a new look at food.

We’re so often pulled toward or against certain foods according to whether or not they’ve been deemed healthy or beneficial in helping us achieve stuff like weight goals. Exercises like this one remove all of that quantitative and black and white thinking.

Each time I get the chance to shed some light on how, through attention and awareness, we can begin to make peace with food, I feel that I am doing my part in helping the women achieve their best.

Today, join me in being conscious that every food has a story and give thanks to Mother Earth each time you eat. And let me know how it goes! Leave a comment with your experience practicing this exercise.

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About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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