In high school, I was presented with the opportunity to spend 16 days studying in France, Spain, and Italy.
When I returned to America, I started to question my relationships with the people around me. I wanted to become friends with all different types of people. I sought to achieve a greater diversity of friends.
Personally, I started to appreciate the things I had more and really value the good people and opportunities in my life. In Italy, everyone was so happy to be alive. Here, it seems as though we would rather have an iPhone 5 than make memories with the people we love.
I made a promise to myself that I would live like those people did. I would only surround myself with good hearts and intentions, and truly genuine people.
Europeans like life; they are more willing to find joy in everything. Here is a conversation from one of my favorite movies Eat, Pray, Love
Luca Spaghetti: “Americans. You work too hard. You get burned out. You come home and spend the whole weekend in your pajamas in front of the T.V.”
Liz: “That’s not far off, actually.”
Luca Spaghetti: “But you don’t know pleasure. You have to be told you’ve earned it. You see a commercial that says: ‘It’s Miller Time!’ And you say, ‘That’s right! Now I’m going to buy a six pack.’ And then drink the whole thing and wake up the next morning and you feel terrible. But an Italian doesn’t need to be told. He walks by a sign that says: ‘You deserve a break today.’ And he says, ‘Yes, I know.’ That’s why I’m planning on taking a break at noon to go over to your house and sleep…with your wife!”
Giovanni: “We call it dolce far niente: the sweetness of doing nothing.”
Luca Spaghetti: Americans know entertainment, but they don’t know pleasure.
One of the first things I did (and am trying to do better) is change the way I view food.
“Europeans tend to use food as a cultural experience and something to savor, unlike most Americans, who sometimes think of it as pure fuel. Dawdling in Applebee’s may drive your waiter crazy, but no one will be offended if you sip the same latte for two hours in a cafe. Use food as a tool to spend more time with those you love by catching up, hanging out, and having good conversation. Also, be mindful of what you are eating, and eat it for taste, not to be full. Take your time instead of racing to finish a plate. Europeans eat food for the experience, paying attention to sensations as they enjoy a meal. This method has many digestive and dietary perks and is easy to implement at home in the U.S.A.”
1. Treat your body with love
2. Give it nourishment
3. Eat for taste, not to be full
4.Take your time
5. Chew slowly
6. Experience the sensations
7. Enjoy each bite
8. Use all five senses
9. Lick your lips
10. NEVER SKIP DESSERT 🙂
For example: Learn how to eat chocolate with these instructions from Vosges Chocolate:
See… first, there should be a glossy shine to the chocolate bar, this shows a good temper; rather, a tight bond between the cocoa butter and the cocoa mass.
Smell… rub your thumb on the chocolate to help release the aromas. Inhale the chocolate and ingredient notes deeply through your nose. Can you feel it?
Snap… quality chocolate should always be dry to the touch. Break the bar into two pieces. Hear a crisp, ringing snap, which indicates a well-tempered bar of chocolate.
Taste… place the chocolate on your tongue and press it to the roof of your mouth. Within thirty seconds, the chocolate should slowly begin to melt around your tongue. The taste should not be evanescent; it should have a long, lingering finish.
Feel… recognize the life in your body as you benefit from the anti-oxidants in chocolate, ride the natural high of chillies, boost your immune system with some of the natural ingredients. Each bar brings its own sensations and benefits. Notice how spicy bars don’t hit you until after you have swallowed.
So pretty much… take your time and truly enjoy each bite of your food. Let the flavors tingle your taste buds. Close your eyes. Smile. Don’t just scarf the food down your throat. I think that if people took the time to truly appreciate the food they are eating and the company they eat it with, we would be a lot happier.
(P.S. Check out this awesome post by Morgan Craig on a very similar topic! It’s so great!)