Around Concord, Summer 2018

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Bask in the


CREATE A RITUAL AROUND EATING AND SAVOR THE SUMMER Cookouts, birthday parties, outdoor weddings, picnics at the lake, snacks at the beach, a trip to the ice cream stand, festivals, and the Fourth of July. Summer brings many a celebration, and with each of these moments to connect with those we love, mark a milestone, or simply revel in each other’s company comes a table laden with a thoughtfully and lovingly prepared meal. Food is central to nearly every gathering throughout the year, and even more so during the summer months when harvests are plentiful and we can be outdoors as evening turns to a warm, starlit night. With such fresh fare, good company, and beautiful surroundings, it’s easy to lose track of your yummy consumptions. Conversations are lively and engaging and there’s a variety of tantalizing treats that make up the festive spread: recipes passed down from one genera-


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tion to the next, tried and true favorites, and newer dishes to investigate. “Oh, you must try this,” encourages your neighbor, even before you spot the trays of dessert or notice that someone’s brought the ice cream from the freezer. Before you know it, your belly feels stretched and those shorts you worked so hard over winter and spring to fit into are getting a tad snug. What to do? The thought of not getting together is off the table. How can you enjoy the gathering without feeling out of control, bad, or deprived? Mindful eating is the secret ingredient. Focus your attention on savoring and fully enjoying your food. It is eating with intention and joy; sharing the conviviality of the moment by taking the time to enjoy the meal. Mindful eating is not trying to squeeze in lunch as you watch Johnny kick a ball or sustain a deep, respectful conversation with Sally about a conflict with her in-laws. Nor is it finishing your kid’s potato salad as you clear her plate, or scraping the last few morsels at the bottom of a serving bowl onto your plate instead of into a storage container. When you eat, focus on being present for each bite and strengthening the bonds with family and friends. With mindful eating, you’ll notice every aspect of eating. How fast are you trying to move through the meal? Is there