In a culture that can’t wait 15 seconds for the internet to load, cooking and sharing a meal can feel overwhelming. These days, the to-do lists are a mile-long and the calendars have little margin. So, many of us resort to wolfing down food while driving or while we’re sitting in front of the computer. It’s not that we’re trying to be anti-social or that tackling our to-do lists enhances the flavor of our food. It’s just that something has got to give, and sometimes, it’s mealtime.
Why share a meal with someone? For starters, eating with another person gives us a chance to enjoy our food. Since conversations are common around the meal table, we are more likely to slow down between bites, allowing us to pay attention to hunger and fullness cues.
In addition, eating with other people provides natural accountability to eat nourishing foods in a mindful way. Think back to the times when you’ve binged on a food. More than likely, it was when you were alone. Maybe you were in the kitchen after a grueling day of work, and you just wanted a little scoop of ice cream. Fifteen minutes later, you’ve demolished most of the container. Or, maybe you’re working at your computer and are mystified to see that most of the bag of chips has disappeared. These are common experiences, but they point to a missing piece of the puzzle: fellowship, something that goes well with any cuisine.
For some of us, though, eating with other people can be a source of stress, not relaxation. If you have experienced fear of eating with other people, or if the burden of calorie-counting taints the joy of sharing a meal, this is a sign that you have an unhealthy relationship with food, something our dietitians at Rethink Nutrition would love to help you with!