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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"When my husband of 34 years died I lost my interest in cooking.  Instead I began relying on quick frozen organic entrees and dinners. After three years I decide to improve the quality of my diet, so I contacted Robin Mallery. Robin helped me create a more nourishing and healthful diet that took my busy teaching and consulting schedule into consideration.

It was a joy to work with Robin. She is knowledgeable, supportive, intuitive, and warm.  I highly recommend her as a Heart Healthy Coach.

Through lifestyle counseling, the sharing of her delicious and healthy family recipes, and an informative and fun "field trip" to a local whole food market, I have shifted to an eating plan that is healthy, delicious, and swiftly prepared. The key to swift and healthy meal preparation for me has been Robin's 90-minute Sunday afternoon food prep model, a strategy that assures quick and delicious high quality meals throughout the week. I consider my leisurely Sunday afternoon food preparation time as self-indulgent "me" time, and enjoy chopping, baking, and sauteing against the backdrop of classical music and a glass of wine.  I also love the fact that a nutritious and delicious dinner is ready when I walk through the door every night of my work week.  It's as if I finally have that personal chef I have always coveted, only it's me!"  ---Patricia J., Nevada City

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