Beatific untrodden twelvemonth! This is my alternative greeting for the advent of the new year. Besides doubling the number of syllables, I think it also increases the intensity of possibility, suggests that we can go somewhere never before ventured, and adds a sprinkle of Shakespearean flavor.
As we reckon time in yearly increments, here are a few basic numbers as concerns annual dietary matters. At a minimum, given a structure of three basic meals per day, or two and a snack, we eat 1,095 times between the beginning of January and the end of December. If we bring that up to five times per day, influenced by a meal plus snack pattern or a small frequent meal philosophy, we are up to 1,825 intimate interactions with placing food in our mouths as we are buckled in for our celestial journey. Add in the multiple nibbles that usually enhance our existence, and the number grows even higher.
Each food encounter also reflects a commitment of time in regard to food procurement, preparation, consumption, digestion and usually some cleanup. Hmmm, let’s see. If I take an estimated average of 1,500 feeding encounters per year and multiply that by some unscientific number of minutes per encounter of sixty-four, we spend 79,500 minutes, 1600 hours, 66 days or 2.4 lunar orbits per year keeping ourselves alive (or killing ourselves) with food.
This, of course, does not take into account how much time we spend thinking about food and thinking about what we think about food. To figure that out would require some advanced calculus, but I can tentatively say it even exceeds the number of times men are purported to think about sex. My recent inquiry into the matter seems to debunk the every seven seconds or 7,200 times per day oft-quoted in scientific or urban myth circles with newer research suggesting that it may be as low as one time per day. Whether there is a direct or inverse relationship with food thoughts is still open for investigation.
In my own role as homo sapiens eater blessed with options and plenitude, I have to acknowledge my own challenges, decide which I wish to or can address, and stop and make adjustments to my own way and style of eating as well. My decisions are based largely on environmental or sustainability concerns and maintaining health. Not everyone needs to be inclined toward putting their attention to matters of diet, but it seems like many are ultimately forced to do so when our mortal coils doth protest too much.
As I remain vigilant observing the cultural messages about food and eating that bombard us, the food environments that surround us, the toxic insults to our planet, the stressful eating habits of the masses, the angst and agita that accompany us and the consequences associated with the whole gestalt, my dilemma that is sensitive to the complexities of human behavior and the realities that define our lives, feels an increased compunction to guide towards increasing the capacity to nourish in a way that we all deserve and that serves us individually and as a society.
In the spirit of the beatific untrodden twelvemonth, I would like to give you an opportunity to share a glimpse of your internal dialogue. This is not an exercise in divulging deep secrets, but more of an inventory of the challenges, barriers, that confront us or positive intentions or actions that may be available to us all. May it be a chance to shed an ounce of the burden of our thoughts which often goes unspoken and becomes an insidious mantra that gnaws away at our nexus of well-being; or to be a way to gain a pound of insight to inspire personal (or community) action for change. Might it just make one of those 1,500 feeding encounters or 79,500 food-related minutes a little better for you, and maybe for those you love too, in this new year.
Here is one for me. (There are no formatting rules.) I give myself permission to sit and smell the (matcha) tea as a reminder to hydrate more, inhale and ingest the gifts of the plant world, worry less and allow for grace to happen with more trust and less force.
I give you good morrow, and well be with you.
Vous souhaiter une bonne et heureuse annee remplie de peche et une bonne sante.
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Wishes for a happy new year filled with peace and good health, Elyn
My Plate Haiku
Deep scarlet red beets
Reveal your sweetness to me
Slip out of your skins.