We eat with our eyes first. It’s true, isn’t it? I know that if I simply see a beautiful photo of a plate of gooey chocolate chip cookies or a sizzling seared steak, I might begin to salivate. We are, by nature, highly visual beings, so it stands to reason that the success of sitting down to enjoy a meal lies, in large part, with what’s in front of our eyes.
Along those same lines, the environment in which we eat can make all the difference. I encourage my clients not only to sit down to a home-cooked meal at least a few times each week with their families; I also encourage them to create a beautiful, inspiring space in which to eat. That might mean candles and music; flowers and placemats; a living room picnic on a blanket; or outside in the grass by the grill. It matters not, but the experience itself should be celebrated!
I remember doing a nutrition consultation for a client who is a mom of three little boys. Between her hubs and the littles, there was a ton of male energy in that house! Now, that’s not a bad thing. I love that boy energy; it’s contagious! (I have an 8-year old son). However, for her sake, there needed to be a little feminine balance in the space so that she could relax, breathe, and enjoy herself. She was exhausted not just from being mom to young kids, but, I believe, from the fact that her own needs were constantly taking back seat. I encouraged her to add some feminine touches to her kitchen: flowers, clear glass canisters for her healthy snacks, or some pretty towels. When I visited her again to check on her progress, her kitchen was decluttered, there was music playing, and a cheerful vase of fresh flowers sat upon her kitchen counter. She seemed renewed, less stressed, more centered, more HER-self. I was thrilled to see the results of just a few small tweaks to her abode. She didn’t cut any of the male energy out of her home—she embraced it as she always had. She simply added a little of her own, and I felt the balance immediately when I walked into the room. Win, win, win!! Love it. (BTW: That sweet gal has since moved away, but still sends me pics of her kitchen counter….with fresh flowers on top!)
Find ways to “pretty up” your space. Use fresh herbs as a garnish, dig out the fancy stuff and serve your “Sloppy Joes” on Grandma’s China, or have your children make name cards and choose some dinner music. Teach them how to arrange a veggie tray and place it in the center of the table. Dim the lights, string some lights, tie a balloon to each chair, whatever feels good, go there and lean into it….celebrate it. When we are able to relax and appreciate the moment, good things happen. Your kids just might eat more veggies, your hubs might do the dishes, and you might just sit back and take it all in.