Hello fellow 28 Tablers! My name is Julia, but I’m better known as “Jules” to most and am sometimes referred to as “Pipina,” but that’s another blog in itself. I found out about 28 Tables from the “Month in the Raw” blog, and it really intrigued me. I loved Beck’s idea for experimonths because to me life is an experiment. In fact, I used to have a website called julesexperiment, which the experimonths are inspiring me to start up again (soon).
The 28 Tables experiment is an wonderful idea, and when I signed up, I decided to do a little research on the Internet regarding eating with family versus eating alone. Not surprising, all of my findings regarding eating with family were positive ones. Several studies indicate that eating meals with family has many benefits, which include eating more healthfully as well as providing a sense of emotional well-being. In a nutshell, family meals are related to better nutritional intake (consuming higher amounts of important nutrients) and a decreased risk of unhealthy weight control practices. I also found a survey that showed those who regularly eat meals with their families tend to be happier with their present life and prospects for the future. So sharing a meal with people, especially those who are nearest and dearest to our hearts, provides nutrition for not only the body, but also for the soul!
I don’t have a family in the traditional sense. Right now it’s just me and my two four-legged furry felines. Although I do infrequently go out to eat with friends and have meals with my girlfriend whenever our time schedules permit, I generally don’t share a dinner table with anyone unless one or both of my cats happen to be on the table when I happen to actually be sitting at the table while I’m eating! You can usually find me standing at the kitchen counter scarfing down some quick concoction…maybe an easy bowl of cereal…or tripping over cats while I run back-and-forth from my plate of food while doing multiple tasks in between bites (in fact I was eating when I began writing this post).
This experiment will definitely allow me to slow down and be mindful of what I’m eating and to be fully present with the person and/or people who are sitting at the table with me sharing time, space and a meal…and perhaps a meal that I actually cooked or we cooked together. I am a lazy bum when it comes to cooking just for me; it is much more fun to cook for someone you love (hmmm…I wonder what this says about my own self-love…this would be another blog too). To me the most important ingredient in any recipe is love…and when we cook with love in our hearts, to me the food literally tastes so much better, as corny as this may sound. I think this experiment will also be a great opportunity to practice observing a moment of gratitude before a meal. Sometimes I take for granted that I have food to eat, that there are people in my life who care for me and so many other things.
- To eat at least 1 meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner) or snack with someone (anyone) for the entire month of February.
- To eat with my girlfriend as much as possible given our schedules; to eat with friends or make new ones while sharing a meal.
- To cook as much as possible, and, when not possible, out to eat we go.
- To eat at any table that is available.
- No television or other distractions like cell phones while eating except for maybe music.
- To document the changes that have occurred during this experimonth…to see if, in fact, sharing a meal does improve my nutrition and my well-being.