In this month of Thanksgiving, where celebration of life, gratitude and food is such a big theme, I’d like to share with you a recent memorable food experience of mine.
You may be asking yourself, “Why is this massage therapist talking about food in her bodywork business column?” Good question! Enjoying amazing food, just like enjoying extraordinary massage and bodywork, is one of my greatest pleasures of being human and having a body. If done well, both food and massage can support our health and also be sweet indulgences.
This past Sunday, I treated myself to breakfast at Morning Glory. It was a glorious day, autumn leaves were changing and there was a beautiful combination of crispness in the shady air and toasty heat in the sunshine. I was already in a place inside myself were life was feeling precious and sweet. When I walked in, I noticed the daily specials board announced something I had never seen at Morning Glory before: “Pecan Crusted Pork Chop with a Maple Syrup Glaze.” When I lived in New Orleans I indulged from time to time in a unique breakfast side dish called “Praline Bacon,” so I knew that pecans and bacon went amazingly well together. I was definitely game for trying the chop!
When the dish arrived, the tiny chopped pecans covered the pork chop, scattered in the way people crowd on a dance floor when a great song is playing. The smell of the savory, slightly fatty meat mixed with the caramelized nuttiness of pecans and syrup was already a delight. But the mouthful I took was such a mix of flavors; its goodness took me by surprise and literally brought tears to my eyes. For the first time in my life, I actually felt inspired to send a gratuity back to the kitchen staff in addition to my server, which I did.
Fortunately, Morning Glory always serves such generous portions, I had enough to take home and share the pleasure with two special friends. For me, being able to share great food with people I love is also deeply gratifying.
Something important I have noticed when enjoying good food is that it often is so much more tasty when I slow down, be present with what I am eating, and take in using all the senses: the smell, the taste, the temperature in the room, even the sounds and experience of the people I am sharing the meal with. The same holds true when I both give and receive bodywork, slowing down and being present greatly enhances the overall experience.
So I invite you, as you sit down for your Thanksgiving feast this month, slow down and take in what is in front of you. If you can, be grateful not only for the food and the company, but also for your ability to enjoy it.