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The Art Of Slowing Down

Written by: Clare England, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 
Executive Contributor Clare England

The pace of life is sometimes frantic. We have deadlines and schedules, we have appointments, meetings, tasks, and chores and sometimes we just have to be in a certain place at a certain time. It can be exhausting; it can be exhilarating but rarely is it peaceful. Life looks different when we take a moment to slow down, it tastes different too.


People walking on street.

Let me take you to a very nice restaurant. We are welcomed warmly and shown to our table. The table is adorned beautifully. White tablecloths show off the opulent cutlery and stunning tableware. There is some quiet, gentle music playing. The views out the window are of the vast rolling countryside. The atmosphere is relaxed, we feel safe, we feel happy. There is no rushing. After settling in, we are presented with a small plate, wrapped in a white serviette. We untie the serviette and find a small, warm, round bread roll. It was made here in the farmhouse kitchen just for you. You can smell the bread, you hear the crunch of the crust as you break it open. As you take a bite you savour the taste, the texture, the warmth, the depth of flavour. It is exquisite.


When we slow down and let our senses experience what we are doing our world gets richer. In this example, we have added our sense of smell and hearing to our sense of taste. This makes our experience so much more complex. Our brain receives more information about what we are eating. It paints a more beautiful picture in our mind, and it nearly always makes the food taste better. By taking our time and using our different senses we can pick out all the flavour profiles: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and savoury or umami. When our tastebuds receive all of these profiles we feel more satiated or fulfilled. By taking our time and allowing our brains to process what we are eating we get an incredible experience.


We don’t have to go to a very nice restaurant to have this kind of eating experience. We can do it at home. We can sit down, turn off the tv, put away our devices and concentrate on our food. We can’t do it while rushing from one meeting to the next, one appointment to the next and grabbing a sandwich on the run. We must stop, even just for two minutes, to let our senses catch up with all the information our brain is receiving. Enjoying food comes naturally to us. Sharing food and company is a tradition in most cultures. When we sit down with others, sharing great food, and great stories, we laugh, we joke, we smile, we eat and we do it slowly. We enjoy the work that has gone into preparing the food. We notice the flavours, the textures and the spices. Our senses delight in having the time to recognise the flavour profiles and we delight in the joy of these wonderful occasions.


This practice of slowing down is very good for us. It gives space to take a deep breath, to hear things around us, birds singing, people laughing, joyous sounds that can lift our heavy burdens for just a minute or two. Our blood pressure lowers, our heart rate slows. Suddenly we can see the world around us. When we do this in nature, we see how incredibly beautiful this world of ours is. When we notice what we are eating and take our time to absorb all the flavours and textures, our meal is more rewarding. We feel more satisfied at the end. Wherever we are, we can slow down, for just a minute, take a breath, let our senses catch up and take in what we are doing. Be it eating, walking, commuting, shopping, or working, if we let our senses catch up, we will be rewarded with experiences that we would otherwise miss completely.


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Clare England Brainz Magazine
 

Clare England, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Clare England MSc is a Registered Associate Nutritionist specialising in plant based nutrition and living. She is a talented recipe developer with specialist knowledge in chocolate, vegan, and non-dairy innovations. Clare takes great pleasure in sharing the joy of chocolate and educating people in the art of plant based living. A lifetime learner, Clare is always seeking to improve her knowledge and skills through continued research and education. She has a passion for sharing this learning and does so with warmth and integrity.

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