Friday, November 11, 2011

The Dinner Table Debate

It's no secret that I live alone.  Which means that 9 out of 10 times I eat my dinner alone.  This is, of course, counting on the fact that I even eat dinner.  It's not really a rare occurrence for me to have a few snacks and a call it a night.  Not sure if you call a bowl of cereal dinner?

Back to the point.  When I eat dinner alone, I feel a little bit silly sitting at the dinner table.  Eating alone is sad.  Space on my dinner table is a little slacking.

I have no shame in posting photos of my mess.

Instead, my meals (and snacks) are usually consumed in front of the television or, alternately, the very thing I am typing on now--the laptop.

It's like there is an invisible force that pulls me from the kitchen where I lovingly prepare my own dinner and plants my butt on the couch.  Every.single.night.

Many studies will tell you that eating in front of the television is bad bad bad.  And yet, I find myself wandering over there despite this.  The electronic devices are distracting.  There I am chowing down on my food, not paying attention to what's going in my mouth, but rather what so-and-so is saying on t.v. or what  the topic is on a blog that night.

I don't pay attention to the food I'm eating.

I don't take the time to enjoy it.

I look down when my fork can no longer find food and wonder where it's all gone.

This whole dilemma needs to come to an end.  I want to enjoy my food.  To actually take time and taste what I'm eating.  To no longer endlessly snack at dinner because I didn't really eat, did I?

In fact, eating at the table is one of Michael Pollan's, author of  In Defense of Food, food rules. 
#58 Do all your eating at a table.

No, a desk is not a table. If we eat while we're working, or while watching TV or driving, we eat mindlessly -- and as a result eat a lot more than we would if we were eating at a table, paying attention to what we're doing. This phenomenon can be tested (and put to good use): Place a child in front of a television set and place a bowl of fresh vegetables in front of him or her. The child will eat everything in the bowl, often even vegetables that he or she doesn't ordinarily touch, without noticing what's going on. Which suggests an exception to the rule: When eating somewhere other than at a table, stick to fruits and vegetables.  Source
 I pledge today to start eating more mindfully.  I will turn off the t.v. and shut the computer while I am enjoying a meal.

How do you normally eat your meals?  Do you think eating in front of the t.v. is distracting?
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