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Making the Present Pleasant with Holistic Positivity

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Each Monday, Tiffany will send an e-mail message that provides positive energy and tangible tips for eating more mindfully. The purpose of the weekly message is to reinforce the ideas from the talks and classes that are a part of the Como Water Membership, and to further support those trying to adopt and sustain a veg-centric lifestyle. To receive our Mindfulness Mondays posts, Become A Member today.

Making the Present Pleasant with Holistic Positivity

Right before a friend left for Cambodia, we had on of our infamous lunch time chats. This time, the topic was on my new year’s theme “the present.” We talked about how the theme might apply to a bunch of different domains, including relationships.

In that conversation, my friend explained that he believed most people thought about, and subsequently handled relationships all wrong. He believes (and I’d say that I agree) that in relationships folks often give to get.

Instead, my dear friend suggested, people should focus on creating the best possible interaction with others in the present moment. By focusing on making the immediate interaction pleasant, you dramatically increase the likelihood of  pleasant, positive, and fulfilling interactions in the future. In other words, by cultivating the present, you are de facto shaping the quality of the future. This resonated with me and I immediately thought about how I could connect this concept to my relationship with food. Here goes nothing!

Rather than being future focused–ruminating about working out for twenty-extra minutes when I eat donuts or thinking about what I can get from food after I’ve eaten it (i.e., comfort!), I’ve been trying (key word is trying here, people) to focus on creating positive interactions with food right in the present moment, knowing in the back of my head that the current positive interaction will lead to future equally positive (or even more positive) interactions.

For example, if I take the time to create a beautiful dish with lots of colors and make my eyes happy before the food ever even touches my mouth, then chances are, future dishes will also embody this beauty, tantalizing multiple senses, creating a cycle where I consume lots of colorful, beautiful dishes. Or if I cut out certain foods (or increase the consumption of other foods) and realize that those choices lead to “positive interactions,” chances are that I’ll make these choices again and again, leading to a pattern of behavior, a lifestyle where positive interactions with food are the norm, rather than the exception.

Now, I know what you may be thinking. This notion has at least two complications. 1. What if your “positive” interactions are with foods that are undeniably “bad” for health and wellness? And 2. Doesn’t being health conscious almost by definition imply being future focused?

I, (of course :D), have thoughts on each of these points.

With respect to positive interactions with bad foods, I offer you the concepts of partial positivity and holistic positivity. Many folks think that tasting something delicious is the be all end all to having a positive interaction with food. Yet, I would argue, that having a holistically positive experience where all of your senses, as well as your heart and minds feel positive, is a holistically positive experience with food. And it is this type of holistic positivity that is worth cultivating, and one not likely fostered through eating unhealthy foods.

To the second point about being health conscious and future focused, I would say that while being health conscious many imply the future, the focus should be on the present. This will undoubtedly lead to better health in the future, but this need not be where your focus lie.

The future is not promised; our only reality is the here and now. What will you do to ensure that your next interaction with food is the most holistically positive interaction it can be?

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Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantra—love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!

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