My dear friend from France visited last summer with her husband and 3 children ages 3, 8 and 10.
She and I attended the same undergrad and grad schools, but haven’t seen each other in a while, so we had a lot to catch up. You would think that with a house filled with young children, it would have been impossible for us to talk, but ironically I felt a sense of peace I hadn’t felt in months.
It seemed while they were here that life slowed down. They weren’t glued to Smartphones and our meals were long with engaging conversation, such as the difficulties Einstein had as a child, the differences between living in the US vs. Europe, etc.
What amazed me most was that they didn’t eat anything in between meals. When I put out a bowl of strawberries, nobody ate it. They waited for their meals and appreciated what they ate. I heard comments like, “This salad is amazing. The dressing is so light.”
They ate slowly and made certain to thank me genuinely after each meal, instead of re-burying their faces in a Smartphone with a perfunctory thank you like so many of us Americans do.
Europeans (generally speaking of course) naturally eat with mindfulness. They don’t grab at their food and pile their plate with large portions, gauge it down and feel miserably full afterwards. That’s why the obesity rate in Europe is lower than in the US.
The European way of eating has another added benefit: farmers are able to keep up with the food supply and preserve the mineral richness of the soil, unlike our American crops that are vastly grown in mineral-deplete soil. In Europe, a tomato still smells like it used to smell while I was a child and you still need to put sugar on your grapefruits because they are still tart.
At my health and juice company, JOOS, we encouraged people to do our 21 Day program. Our aim was to get us Americans back to the basics of how we’re meant to eat. People who did it felt they took back control of their eating habits, which had added ramifications of feeling more empowered and happier.
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