Monk and author Thich Nhat Hanh famously said “washing the dishes to wash the dishes.” By that he meant, when you are washing dishes do only that activity – nothing else. He was teaching us the idea that by placing all of your attention on what you are doing, you can gain the most benefit from the experience. This famous phrase is a memorable one in the world of mindfulness and mindful eating.
The idea of focusing your attention on a single task at a time can be applied to cooking and can turn the chore of cooking into a delightful experience. Mindful cooking simply means paying attention to each element of the process without distraction. Try it for yourself.
Start by mindfully choosing a recipe to prepare. Sit down with your favorite cookbook and slowly leaf through it. Feel the pages in your fingertips. Linger over photos that may be included. Choose a recipe that calls out to you. One that is appetizing and enticing.
If you don’t have any cookbooks or don’t know where to start, below is an easy and delicious recipe for a Mindful Spring Frittata. Begin by reviewing the recipe, and make a list of the ingredients you will need.
Next, it’s time to go shopping. Before you step into the store, take a deep breath and relax your body. Most of the time, we rush into the store, grab what we need and leave. Today you will savor your shopping experience. Take your time walking around the store and carefully choose your items. When you have collected all your items, proceed to the checkout counter. Place your items one by one on the counter and silently thank all those who helped get them to the store for your purchase. When you return home, thoughtfully place your ingredients on your kitchen counter and begin making the recipe. Tend to each instruction deliberately. Don’t rush. Find the pleasure in the process. While your recipe is cooking, set your table. Lay out beautiful dishes and flatware. Use crystal and china if you have it. Add flowers and candles if you like. Serve the dish as you would expect the finest restaurant in the world to do. Savor each bite as if it were the first time you have ever tasted it. Bon Appetit.
The Mindful Spring Frittata
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
3 Tbsps. olive oil
8 eggs, scrambled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 package spinach leaves, washed and dried
12 cherry tomatoes, sliced in halves
Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions: Heat oven to 400F degrees. Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet (or another skillet-like pan that can go into the oven).
Add spinach and simmer until wilted. Mix as needed. Add cheese to scrambled eggs, salt and pepper to taste, and mix. Pour cheese mixture over spinach. Heat until egg mixture is slightly cooked. Lay sliced cherry tomatoes on top of the egg mixture in a decorative pattern. Place the skillet into the pre-heated oven. Heat until top of frittata has a nice golden hue, approximately 15 – 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Let sit for a minute or two. Slice into 4 or 6 wedges. Garnish with avocado and/or orange slices if desired.
By Dr. Sheila Forman
Dr. Forman is a psychologist and mindful eating instructor. Her new book TAME Your Appetite: The Art of Mindful Eating will be in stores in Spring 2022. For more information, go to www.TAMEYourAppetite.com