posted October 12, 2021
by Kimberly Harper-Colucci, VLCE
Food is my love language—the way I shower those around me with love, compassion, and warmth. It is how I show someone I value them, doing something special just for them.
One of my favorite things is hosting dinner parties and brunches. I go out of my way to pick just the right table setting and plan the right menu. I set the scene with flowers and candles and spend countless hours picking just the right playlist to complement the menu. When my guests come over I want them to feel the love and care; to know that they are being treated to a special event created just for them.
I always think to myself, “I should do this more often.” The reality is, I never have the time. There’s work, clients, family, life. Every day our schedules are filled to the brim. My dinner is typically a quick meal and eating at the kitchen counter.
Why are we so willing to show others the love we should be showing ourselves?
Food plays such an important role in our lives. It is our source of life, what sustains us, heals us, and contains the very building blocks our cells are made of. Food is what we plan and divide our days by.
Mealtimes should be filled with significance and joy. They should be a time of rejuvenation, yet most of us treat it as a struggle. We eat on the go, in front of the TV, at the counter while we scroll our social media and inhale our meals mindlessly.
Instead of the disconnected rut, what if we became more mind(FULL) with our mealtimes? Let’s make our everyday meals, into everyday events. Get back to connecting and being more present, not just at the dinner table, but with ourselves.
How do we do that?
Before you get started in the kitchen, take a moment to energetically check in. Quiet your mind and really tune in to your body and emotions. Are you in a place of stress and anxiousness? Do you need to take a few deep breaths and become more present? Negative energy isn’t on our ingredient list. Take some time to quiet your mind and be fully present and open.
Setting the Table
Stop saving that special china for someone else. Show yourself some love and set the table with chargers and linens. Light the candles and add some beautiful flowers. Add all the special touches that you would for a special guest—because you are the most special guest!
Always pause for a moment of gratitude. Be thankful for the food that nourishes you on so many levels. Send your body love and gratitude for all it has been through, and all it continues to carry you through.
Close your eyes and feel into the moment. Breathe deep. Open your senses. Smell the wonderful food. With your eyes closed, tune in and name a few of the scents you recognize. Need some soft relaxing music? What kind of mood are you in? Put your phone on silent and relax at the table. Absorb all the beauty you have created and appreciate this moment. Take a bite and savor the flavor. Eat slowly and focus on every bite.
In this modern age, our lifestyles can make mindful eating difficult. Slow down and make it something special. Mealtimes are so much more than a refueling stop. So many of our memories come from around the dinner table. What kind of memories are you creating?
Inspired by Nouvelle Cuisine, Main Street Vegan Academy graduate, Kimberly Harper-Colucci, specializes in local, lighter, plant-based modern food. She celebrates comfort food with a nutritious, elegant twist. Growing up in a military family, Kimberly traveled internationally and developed a love for regional cuisine. She pursued a military career as a Critical Care Paramedic and Board-certified Patient Advocate specializing in Pulmonology and Critical Care.
While serving in the fire department, she received classical culinary training at Stratford University and dedicated herself to educating patients on the importance of nutrition and its health impacts. This led her to a plant-based lifestyle and plant-based chef certification. Kimberly helps others understand that healthy and delicious foods can be synonymous. She blends her extensive medical background with her passion for cooking as a personal chef, preparing tasty, nutritious meals for clients and catered events. You may find her on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.