If you follow me on Instagram you have heard that the last few weeks have been truly crazy for me. My fiancee and I finally decided where we are moving in a few months, we got a ton of work done for the wedding, traveled nearly every weekend back to back, and had a lot going on at work and in our personal lives. We really felt pretty exhausted.
We’re cute, right? We look so young.
So this trip to Italy sounds like a dream, right? It definitely was. All the wine, delicious pasta, and the historical sights. But that wasn’t our favorite part of the trip. We loved that we were virtually “unplugged” for one month. I never expected to enjoy that more than Pompeii or Italian shopping.
What was more surprising, though, was the foods that I liked most. Sure, the pizza and pasta was delicious. The wine was incredible and SO cheap. But the foods I still crave the most? The tomatoes. I know that sounds simply insane, but that were just THAT good. I could’ve lived off of those tomatoes for the rest of my life. They were so full of flavor, and so fresh. I have never tasted anything like it before.
BUT THE REASON WE WENT TO ITALY IS WHAT MATTERS:
The actual class that took us to Italy was focused on studying a movement: Slow Food. I had never heard of it before we left, but to be honest, it really became a passion of mine. If you’ve never heard of Slow Food you can read their full manifesto here, but the basics are this: we as Americans are part of a fast food culture, and we need to adopt the Slow Food culture of our ancestors (& that many countries around the world still enjoy today). I know that we hear that all the time, but it really goes deeper. It goes into what we eat, BUT ALSO HOW WE EAT IT.
Whenever I talk to people about this blog, and what it stands for, I always go back to describing it’s name, Hullabaloo, and what exactly that means to me. When I picture “Hullabaloo” it’s that buzz around the room at a really fabulous event or really wonderful dinner party. There are interesting people, delicious foods, perhaps some good wine.
But that’s not what creates the hullabaloo, it’s the time that those people are taking together. There are no cell phones, no televisions – they are enjoying time together. Laughing, telling stories, or even perhaps talking about more serious topics. Above all else, it’s the epitome of a SLOW meal.
NOW BACK TO THE KEY OF TODAY’S POST: How to Have a “Dinner Party” Every Night & WHY living that way will actually prompt you to LOSE WEIGHT
I need to start by saying here this is a challenge I am starting on too, but I invite you to join me. I don’t have everything figured out, and I’m not perfect. But I truly believe we can make one small change each day that will make us HAPPIER & HEALTHIER. But more importantly – HAPPIER.
WHY & HOW you should have a “dinner party” every night
Let’s be serious, I don’t actually mean inviting people over. It’s a lovely idea, but not at all realistic.
What I DO mean, is seeking that sort of mentality. The “hullabaloo” and slow eating that I just described. Whether you are eating ALONE or with your significant other and your kids, YOU CAN DO THIS.
Don’t sell yourself short with a microwave meal eaten in front of the TV.
Even if you live alone, MAKE YOURSELF something delicious. Carefully choose ingredients that you love. (see pic above of me in Italy with some ingredients that I love). Put on music, and ENJOY your food. I know it sounds totally insane, and I know you think you are too busy, but I promise you that you will be HAPPIER.
We (myself included) all spend so much money on stress relief and things to make us happier. What if we just took something we do every day (eating) and make it something that created joy?
MY CHALLENGE: start with 1 meal a day, every day, eating the “dinner party” way
THE RULES for eating the “dinner party” way:
NO PHONES & NO MICROWAVE MEALS.
You must spend minimum 20 minutes doing it (yes, literally set a timer if you must). Start out with 20 minutes, but gradually increase the time the longer you do it.
You will be AMAZED how quickly you are gobbling up your food. But, with time, eating more slowly will grow natural and you’ll really start to enjoy your meal.
Also, if you eat with other people, TALK TO THEM. This sounds ridiculous, but really strive to have meaningful conversation.
Something we did when I was young at family dinner was go around and say our “high” and “low” for the day. This was a great way to create conversation if ya need a little help in this department.
OK, moving right along.
WHY eating the “dinner party” way will help you lose weight:
Obviously this is not guaranteed, BUT- there are a lot of statistics and research that point toward the health benefits for eating slow. Like this TIME magazine article, which states that eating slowly makes you 42% less likely to be overweight. WOW.
The other benefit of eating SLOW, specifically trying to increase your time spent eating, will help you prevent over eating. When you eat slowly, you will sense that you are full and be able to stop eating before you eat too much.
LASTLY & my fav benefit – it can be a STRESS RELEIF! Take a break from the hustle and bustle, of your day – think of this as almost a meditation. Obviously not a literal meditation. BUT indulge yourself in a slow meal, rest & nourish your body. If you are eating with others, enjoy conversation too.
Pick ONE meal per day – I think dinner is easiest but also do what works for you here. Enjoy it SLOW.
I’m going to start this challenge too. And because there is a no phone rule, be sure you only share your slow meal BEFORE or AFTER you eat it … wink wink.
Be sure to follow along on Instagram too because I’ll be tagging with #slowforhappiness – and you can too! I’d love to see your photos of your slow meals & hear your experiences eating slow & enjoying those you are eating with more!