The other night I watched yet another program giving the gloomy statistics on obesity in America—how it has risen dramatically in the last 20 years. There are news reports that over 60% of Americans are overweight, and, according to a recent report from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) over 32% of Americans are obese. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) predicts that close to 75% of Americans will be overweight by 2020.
I believe a lot of this is a result of our unconscious eating and drinking habits. We are a busy populace and food has taken a role of convenience. I don’t blame fast food…however I do blame fast eating of any type of food or drink. If we slow down and pay attention to what we are eating and drinking, we might achieve more satisfaction with our food, perhaps enjoy it more and eat less.
Sometimes in my Tea Discovery class I’ll have a person completely new to tea and/or new to white tea. Before we taste our white tea, I always have the class participants smell the steaming tea leaves, and then I ask them to quiet their minds and really pay attention as they taste the tea. More than once, I have had a participant tell me this is the first time in a long time they have paid conscious attention to something in their mouth.
If you love tea like I do, then you know the pleasure of the full sensory experience, and that to fully enjoy some of the subtle nuances of tea—especially white, green and oolong teas, you have to pay attention, let the tea linger in your mouth and give time for the finish to express itself. Tasting and appreciating good tea brings you into mindfulness, which is a place of being, not doing. Tea is full of natural flavor—in fact offers a huge spectrum of flavor and has no calories, so the exploration of it, done in a mindful manner can be incredibly absorbing and satisfying.
Giving mindful eating (and especially tea tasting) a try is far easier than many weight management plans, and, it is completely in your control.