bringingupbuddhas

suburban adventures in bu-curious mothering

Tag: food

what fills us…

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Penelope came home a few days ago with a recipe for chicken pot pie. She had printed it at school and asked if we could make it together for dinner.

We started last night around 4:30. I coached her through trimming raw chicken breast and rubbing it down with oil, salt and pepper. I taught her how to dice onions the way my mother-in-law taught me. I did my best to be patient while she scooped organic corn kernels into the pot with her bare hands and made tiny gummy bear replicas out of the dough before we rolled it out. I learned that cooking with my daughter is more of a joy than a chore.

We finally sat down to dinner at 7:30. The kids gushed, “Oh my gosh, this is so good,” over and over. They even ate the carrots. But the best part was how accomplished Penelope felt. There are so many things going on outside of the home… activities and playdates, work and parties… but none are so fulfilling to my ten year old as homemade chicken pot pie.

Learn more about the importance of ‪#‎familydinner‬ at www.thefamilydinnerproject.org.

From mine to yours,

Vanessa

p.s. Here’s the recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/chicken-pot-pie-recipe.html . It made 10 tiny pies (divided in ramekins) and two 8 inch pies. You can see them in the pics.

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the revelations hidden in life lessons

Talking about revelation in today’s video blog – wisdom vs. knowledge, and how we can use mindful awareness while experiencing lessons to force revelation and make life a little easier. The main point being, if we can be mindful while the shtuff hits the fan, we have opportunity to shift trajectory in an empowering way. Better yet, through meditation and Self work, we can accelerate the learning process and spare ourselves of future pain and seemingly chronic dis-ease. Learn it today or live it tomorrow.

Healing is uncomfortable, especially in the first few weeks and months of effort.  This is why we call it Self *work*.  But hold tight, because eventually the pendulum will resume its steady tick-tock and wholesomeness will be the new normal.  I’m writing this to you AND to me!  Wish me luck with this whole eating transition!

If you can’t see the video in your inbox browser, click on the blog to view:  www.bringingupbuddhas.com.
From mine to yours,
Vanessa

you and me and a donut makes three

There’s nothing like a donut to bring two people together.

I brought my truck in for a long overdue oil change yesterday.  My five year old son came with me and we decided the one hour wait would be a perfect opportunity to visit the donut shop next door.  We hustled in from the cold and ordered up a couple of hot chocolates and sweet treats.

I invited my little man to choose our table and he pointed toward a two-top in the far corner.  The space felt noticeably peaceful.  Nearby three old men sat reading the paper, enjoying a warm ray of sunlight shining through the floor-to-ceiling windows.  We smiled at them as we passed and I followed my son to the corner, listening to the quick, rhythmic shoosh-shoosh-shoosh of his snow pants he walked through the quiet shop.

We sat down and got cozy, shaking off our jackets and releasing shocks of staticy hair from under our hats, then reached for our goodies.  I unwrapped my go-to flavor, Boston Cream, and he slowly revealed own his favorite, Strawberry Sprinkled.  He laid the pink donut on a napkin and sipped his cocoa, “Too hot!”  I peeled off the cap and poured in a little more milk.  He tried it again.  “Mmmmm.  ‘S good.”

“What happened in school today, buddy?”

No answer.

“Did you learn anything new?”

Shrug.

He was not interested in conversation.  He pushed his cocoa aside and turned his focus on the awaiting spongey delight.  I decided to stop talking and simply enjoy the sight of my little guy wholly engaging in an exquisite eating meditation.

With deep concentration he examined his snack on the table.  He picked it up and sunk his teeth in.  When a tiny red jimmy toppled onto his napkin, he pinched it between his thumb and forefinger and meticulously nestled it back into the icing.  He chewed and paused and chewed some more.  He lifted the donut high above his head with one hand, clearly in awe of its deliciousness.  He held it up to me as if to say, Look, Mamma, isn’t it beautiful?  But he didn’t utter a word.  He just returned his full awareness to the slow and methodical extinction of one pink donut.  He carefully selected which portion to bite, mindful to save the sweetest bit for last.  He chewed and relished and appreciated the donut so entirely, I could only imagine that for him, in those moments, not one other thing existed in the whole wide world.

The last bite was upon him.  He popped it into his mouth, chewed for a long while, swallowed, then tossed his head back in the chair, staring at the ceiling, seemingly reconciling the experience.

I paused to take in the warm hush of the donut shop.  And I realized that silence is a pretty amazing way to communicate.

I smiled then laughed out loud.  I told him I loved him.

“I love you, too, Mamma,” he finally responded.

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how i used mindfulness to kick my candy habit

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If you are an M&M lover, you might not want to read this.  I don’t want to ruin the candies for you.  But if you’re on the edge or if you’re considering better eating habits, this could help you.  So read on, my friend.

I’ve been learning more about MBSR through a publication titled “Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook” written by Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein.   It’s a terrific workbook and I recommend it to anyone interested in exploring or further committing to meditation.  In this workbook, an eating meditation is outlined.  Now, I’ve done eating meditations before.  Thich Nhat Hanh offers beautiful versions in several of his books.  But for some reason, this was the one that changed the way I looked at food forever.

I was buckling into my seat on a plane heading home from vacation with my family.  Wedged in my seat back pocket was a big package of M&Ms.  I know they’re bad for me and filled with artificial dyes, but I’m an advocate of moderation, so I settled in for the long trip home with my shiny brown bag full of 30% more candy and my MBSR workbook.  I was reading intently while popping M&Ms two at a time (one for each side of my mouth – gotta keep it even) when I turned to the page about mindful eating.

The workbook suggested that I place three raisins in my hand and analyze them as if I was from outer space, never having set eyes on a raisin before.  Well, I didn’t have raisins, so I used my M&Ms.  I poured a few into my palm and contemplated.  Then I glanced sideways at the markers on my daughter’s tray table.  Then I looked back at the M&Ms.  The candy didn’t look like food.  The candy looked like a little pile of toys – the same colors as my daughter’s plastic markers.  Why am I eating this?  This isn’t food.  I started to wonder.

The workbook then invited me to place the food in my mouth and allow my senses to continue their exploration.  I shook them in my hand first, hearing the way they rattled against each other.    Click!  Click!  Click!  Then I tossed the load into my mouth.  They struck my teeth.  Clack!  I let them sit on my tongue then slowly began to roll them around my mouth.  The candy shells were not delicious.  They tasted like chemicals.  There was nothing delightfully crisp or irresistibly oozy about their texture.  In fact, they were surprisingly gritty.

I started to chew.  Crunch.  Crackle.  Texturally, the M&Ms sort of felt like eating grains of sand.  When the chocolate broke open, the taste wasn’t satisfying.  The flavor was actually sort of metallic.   I swallowed the lot after about 30 chews and paid attention to the way they sunk into my belly.  I was totally surprised.  It didn’t feel good.  I sucked the last bits of chocolate out of my teeth and worked my jaw a little bit, feeling the way even the muscles near my eyes participated in the chewing process.  Particles separated like tiny shards of seashells and slid, with effort, down my throat.

I sat for a little while, thinking about M&Ms and wondering why I’d never before paid more attention.  I’ve always been a candy lover.  I mean, I wake up in the morning and crave chocolate.  But these days I’ve been waking up in the morning and craving carrots.  I think it’s because of my mindful eating experiment, but I can’t be sure.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.  Are you a mindful eater?  If not, would you try it once and tell me what you think?

From mine to yours,

Vanessa

p.s.  You know I am so grateful when you share, tweet, tumble and pin my stories.  Many thanks!!!!!

with each breath we have an opportunity to start over

I love this concept:  the idea that with each and every breath there is a fresh opportunity to propel our lives in a new direction.  Just think.  We get to start over thousands of times  a day.  I apply this breath work to my eating habits – I’m a chocoholic and struggle with my will to hold back.  I know all too well that my body is a temple; I therefore have a very important responsibility to take care of it through proper diet, exercise and meditation.  That said, I woke up this morning and had my breakfast:

It’s bad, I know.  It was left over from a Saturday night campfire, complete with s’mores, and somehow at 8am this bar of junky chocolate was completely irresistible.  But, like I said, I know that every breath is a shot at a new beginning.  So I made a healthy choice for lunch:

And then came dessert:

Yep.  Looks like I’ll be starting over again tomorrow.  Wish me luck.

From mine to yours,

Vanessa

“Be willing to be a beginner every single morning.” 
Meister Eckhart