Savor…food, life, each moment

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sa·vor

ˈsāvər/

verb

taste (good food or drink) and enjoy it completely.

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Savoring food, tasting it, enjoying it completely sounds so luxurious and relaxed. In strong opposition to how we typically eat, on the run, in front of the television, while doing another task.

Recently my friends, Dylan and Mandy Metrano, invited me over for a chocolate tasting. They are embarking on a new venture here on Monhegan Island, ME, La Nef Chocolate ~ handmade chocolates. This tasting reminded me of SAVORING. Savoring the moment, savoring the food, enjoying the moment and the food completely. Savoring is so inline with the yoga practices of mindfulness and living in the present moment. In order to savor, you must be paying attention and you must use all of your senses. You may think, “I can’t afford this luxury of savoring.” My question to you is, can you afford not to?

If you have experienced a wine or cheese tasting, then you are familiar with the process we took with the chocolate tasting. Dylan and Mandy, set the tone in the room, no music to distract, no other activities going on, they had the chocolate all laid out and the informational materials at our fingertips. We tasted several chocolates that day, of the dark chocolate variety.

With each one, we first used our sense of sight, looking at it and noticing the color, texture, and sheen. You may think of chocolate as brown, but when you look closely there are shades of red, black, and blue. Some are shiny, some our dull. Some look smooth, others rough. First, we ate with our eyes.

Then we brought the chocolate to our ear and broke it in half, noting the snap. We listened to the chocolate, eating with our ears.

Eating with our sense of touch, we rubbed the chocolate between our fingers, noticing if it were coarse or smooth, did it melt quickly or not.

Next, we invoked our sense of smell to continue our chocolate adventure. We brought our fingers up to our nose and cupped with our opposite hand and took a big whiff. Noting a variety of smells, some more obvious like cacao or coffee, but others were a surprise like cream or caramel or even fresh grass.

Finally, we put the chocolate on our tongue and allowed it to melt slowly, taking in the flavors. Berries, citrus, vanilla, spice just to name a few.

The process of experiencing the chocolate through all of my senses, deepened my appreciation for the food and reminded me of that age old lesson that I seem to have to learn over and over again: taking the time to savor, pay attention, engage the senses, and be present whether it is while eating or doing something routine like brushing your teeth, can make life all the more sweet and enjoyable.

Being on the go and eating on the run, is not sustainable. A lot of our current health crisis in the U.S. can be attributed to this culture of go-go-go. Back to my question above, can you afford not to stop and savor? How could your health and quality of life be improved by making this one, seemingly simple life change? How can you start to savor?

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