Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dining on Peanut Butter & Jelly

My five-year-old grand daughter and I have a routine whenever we go to an evening yoga class (I do the yoga and she socializes!) We eat together afterwards.

She got a picnic basket for her birthday, and so this week she wanted to pack something to have after class. She’s overheard me talking a lot about portion sizes, and I guess some of it sunk in.

“Meemaw… let’s order a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to split,” she said.

Now the irony is, since we were ordering sandwiches, I was envisioning portabella mushroom and grilled vegetables on a panini bun.

For all that preaching, after a work out, I was prepared for something I felt I deserved ~ and more than half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! I wasn’t excited. But I had to be supportive of her suggestion. It was a teachable moment ~ for both of us.

It centered around our relationship with food.

She was ready to savor the experience of a picnic with her new picnic basket, regardless of what we ate. So I went with it.

She asked for a side of carrots and celery rather than chips. Good for her! I could have weakened for the salty taste of chips. I relented when she asked for a small Dr. Pepper. We collected our order at Spoons Bistro & Bakery, placed it in the basket, and then went out on the lawn.

A ritual was unveiled before my eyes. First, a tiny, napkin-sized cloth was spread on the ground. Then she pulled out small, plastic glasses and two little saucers. She placed a generous half -a- sandwich on each saucer with the raw vegetables, and my tea and her pop were poured into the glasses. It was something to behold. We were ready to dine!

She took her time ~ much longer than I had planned ~ as she talked about how much fun this was, and got up a few times to run across the lawn.

The Zen of it all was when we finished, I was satisfied ~ but not before experiencing some moments of discomfort. I realized I’m usually in a rush, and I can easily put aside resolve when it comes to food. I got a peak at my addictive side.

At the end of our “dinner”, I felt somewhat liberated ~ at least for today. Like those tough yoga poses, I had coaxed myself into a new and unfamiliar position.

I know all about good choices, as most people do. I’m writing about it all the time on this blog.

But it’s well worth noting here that few of us are paragons of virtue. We strive to succeed, but we often fall short until our awareness catches up with what we’re trying to accomplish.

Our relationship with food reflects much of where we are on the journey! More to come ~

1 comment:

Sheri said...

I love the description of your picnic experience. I guess "experience" is the key word here.

When I eat, many times it is a side activity to something else I'm doing or the food goes in and down so fast, I don't truly experience it.

Just as in my yoga practice, it's not just being in the pose that is important; it's flowing into it, feeling my body move in new ways and staying mindful throughout.