4.2018

Zion Nat'l Park, Columbine

Mindfulness practice with dark chocolate: a perfect combination

Imagine this: a dark chocolate bar, wrapper opened, lying on the kitchen counter. You walk by, grab a square and gobble it up. It’s delicious, but you are left wanting. You hesitate for a moment before you take the second piece, and eat that one even more quickly, to sort of “get it over with”. Your brain is very happy with the chocolate buzz, but your stomach is not quite satisfied. That third square should just about do it…

Now, imagine those couple of moments of less-than-conscious indulgence in a different way–a more mindful way. The 1-inch square of dark chocolate is broken into 3 small but ample chunks. Take the first piece and hold it in your open palm. Sniff it. Lick it. Lick it again. Nibble off a bite, allowing it to melt slowly in your mouth. Feel your tastebuds come alive with the rich flavor. Take another, larger bite from the small piece. Roll it around your mouth with your tongue. Savor the sensuous texture, the incredibly delicious taste, the smell of the chocoate in your nose. Repeat this sensory experience with the next small piece. Take your time, let your brain, your mouth, your tongue, your nose, your throat all get in on this. The last small piece of the 1-inch, very healthy, good-for-you dark chocolate bar, is all yours! Don’t rush. Close your eyes as you let this deep pleasure take over…

How incredible was that mindful chocolate experience? Fantastic!

As I work with clients to faciliate behavior change that leads to their optimal lifestyle managment, I talk often about mindfulness. Being present in the moment allows for a richness of each experience that may be otherwise missed in our familiar hurry-up-to-get-it-done way of living. All aspects of our life can become a deeper and more meaningful experience if we choose to slow down a bit to be present with whatever it is we are doing. Whether it is folding laundry, cooking a meal, listening to our child describe his school day, or eating a 1-inch square of dark chocolate, we will be more satisfied after the fact, simply because we paid attention while we were in that moment.

Many people have a tendency to become over-fed at a meal. Choosing to eat with a mindful approach will keep your brain on par with your stomach, so you will not only be aware of satiation before you feel too full, but your level of pleasure will be increased during and after that meal. This is a key concept to healthy weight management.

Enjoy your square of dark chocolate!

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery

Robin Mallery is passionate about food! Starting from where and how it's grown, to how far that food travels to the dinner table, to how it is prepared and savored...Robin blends shopping, cooking, and eating tips with her unique Kitchen Zen and mindful meals approach to enjoying real food.

While you are waiting for her to finish the upcoming book, "Kitchen Zen: The Journey to Nourish Body and Soul in Our Changing World", you can find Robin's sporadic blog posts here or on FaceBook.
Robin Mallery

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"The Holiday Survival Cooking and Eating Class exceeded my expectations. It was so enjoyable to learn new ideas for healthy snacks and meals, taste the delicious treats we created and leave with an inspired hope that this will be my healthiest holiday season yet! I am impressed with the knowledge and care that Robin (and Wendy from In the Kitchen) both possess and I look forward to taking more classes in the future. Thanks again!"  --Rose M.   “What a wonderful, yummy class! Not only did we participate in creating several easy-to-make, delicious, nourishing dishes for the holidays and every day, we also learned strategies for surviving and enjoying the upcoming holiday season. Both Robin & Wendy were delightful and imparted their cooking and eating knowledge with love, humor, and enthusiasm. I highly recommend their classes to anyone who is interested in developing a better way to look at food, using thoughtfulness with mindfulness to learn some very valuable strategies for eating any time of the year!” --CAM   “I found the class delightful with great ideas for the holidays. In the Kitchen is a warm and welcoming place and you and Wendy were great teaching collaborators. Good new recipes. I appreciate your healthy eating information. I recommend this class to anyone wanting to enjoy the holidays without stressing over food. Actually, the information isn’t just for the holidays. I want to stay healthy all year and eat well.” --Pat B.   "I’ve participated in several classes at In the Kitchen, enjoyed them all immensely, but it is always a special treat when Wendy teaches a class. The recipes offered in The Holiday Survival class were easy to make and so delicious. And what a plus to have Robin co-teach the The Holiday Survival class with Wendy. Thank you, Robin, for all your great information on healthy eating, which was delivered so professionally, dovetailing beautifully into Wendy’s presentation. Hope you two team up again for more classes of scrumptious, healthy recipes. What a fun evening!!" --Carol B. _______________ I love this positive feedback! How gratifying it is to touch the lives of others in a meaningful way…and to be able to do so around a topic that is so dear to me, is just the icing on the cake (right—pun intended!). Wendy Van Wagner and I will continue to offer seasonal cooking classes in addition to the occasional specialty class…stay tuned!
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