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Beauty Goes Deep

Have you ever looked at a nicely arranged plate of food and automatically felt good? It helps if that plate of food is in front of you (but it even happens when it’s shown on a screen). There is a connection between emotional health, physical health and the aesthetics of food. Trendy restaurants know this and chefs have a few tricks up their sleeves. They know that the brain will pull the eyes toward things that look like nature. Blank space, height, contrast and vibrant color tell the brain that we are getting the right portion size and an array of different phytochemicals. Our amazing brain processes all of this in an instant and we feel good before we even start eating. This means we eat in a relaxed state, allowing the production of adequate digestive enzymes to do their thing. We tend to eat visually palatable foods more slowly. The body continues to process that pretty meal for the next 2-5 days, giving you a lot of bang for your buck. They say beauty is only skin deep, but my intestines beg to differ!

I like to create this experience for myself every time I eat. I’m not joking and it’s not time consuming. It just takes a little creativity and the realization that you (and all of us) are an aesthetically driven eater. Don’t put this important job solely in the hands of marketers and restaurateurs. Get into it yourself! You may find yourself eating more healthfully, just to make a beautiful plate!

I am intentionally including photos from a day when I threw my meals together in a hurry, but slowed down to sit and eat.

Pictured here: simply a sliced pear and peanut butter on toast. I took an extra 90  seconds to cut the pear and sprinkle cinnamon and hemp seeds on my toast. (I always keep hemp seeds on hand because they are an excellent source of clean protein and Omega 3’s and they make things look fancy.)

The photo at the top: Sweet potato and leftover veggie fried rice. I took the 90 seconds to cut the sweet potato in half and arrange the fried rice on top. I sprinkled on hemp seeds and sat down to some very pretty leftovers. 

A few tips: 

  • Use Dishes, Use Color

  • Cut Things, Layer Things, Sprinkle Things 

  • Leave Some Space 

  • Be your creative self! You are worth it!  Whatever you do, don’t think, oh, it’s just plain old _________. My peanut butter toast could have been just that, but it became dignified.

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