At the table one never grows old.

There’s a wonderful Italian saying, “a tavola non s’invecchia”, which translates as “at the table one never grows old.” My fondest memories are recalling family time at the dinner table, eating, laughing, and oohing and aahing over anything placed before me. No one ever ate alone or multitasked while eating. Why isn’t anyone gushing about their meals anymore? Why have we lost the ability to see food as a great source of pleasure? Most often our culture compartmentalizes food into categories that are either good or bad. As a child I never heard anyone say “Don’t eat that, it’s bad for you!”. They ate everything, but in moderation. Many of my relatives lived into their late nineties.
When we eat, we should act as if we’ve been given a blessing. Who knows if our cells just might be listening to what we’re saying. Don’t attach negative connotations to your meals. If you’ve overeaten or had too many fatty, rich, or sugary foods during the day, just accept it and move on. You can make corrections the next time. Nobody, including you, needs to hear over and over how disgusted you are with yourself, how bloated you look, or how little self-control you have. It doesn’t serve you in any way, and it’s incredible boring to everyone around you.
I’m a big believer in common sense, which is probably why a friend shared with me that my success was due to the fact that I have a fantastic natural ability to detect the ridiculous. I’m often blown away because of the stuff people blindly accept about health and happiness. It is so fabricated, that the original fabric seems to have disappeared.
I think I inherited the trait from my grandmother, who definitely had Sicilian intuition. She was a bemused skeptic and never would have sat in front of the tube believing some of the ludicrous information that’s presented by the diet gurus, who travel the media circuit selling their books and potions. Yet, millions have run out to purchase one useless book after another. And I certainly have gotten caught up in the craziness myself before I was able to work with some brilliant researchers in the field of nutrition. We’re out twenty dollars or more and the author accumulates royalties and is able to buy a house in the Caribbean while we continue to struggle with our weight.
Let’s face it, we all know how to eat moderately and that we should move our bodies as much as possible.Eating while you’re driving, sitting at your desk, or walking down the street does not help to create the most important part of eating: mindfulness. Which means you are aware of what you’re eating and how much. Take the time to chew slowly, so that you can savor texture and flavors. It will help you eat less and enjoy more.

About lorettalaroche

An international stress management and humor consultant whose wit, and irreverent humor, has, for over 30 years raised the humor potential in all of us. She is on the Mass General advisory council for anxiety and depression and was recently awarded the National Humor Treasure Award. Loretta writes a weekly newspaper column called, ‘Get a Life’.

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