April 8, 2012

Mindfully Eating ... A Cadbury Egg

A very happy Easter to all Christians and a happy, festive holiday to others. 

My planned Easter holiday splurge this year was a Cadbury egg (sorry, no photo.) Just in case you live in a remote area yet are somehow reading this, a Cadbury egg is a milk chocolate shell with creme filling--and, through the miracle of Cadbury technology, the innermost creme is yolk-orange.

So, I ate my holiday meal of ham, ham and more ham. Recipe: I bought a spiral-cut bone-in ham and gave it a thorough bath under the faucet, then warmed it in my slow-cooker with fresh water. I'd planned to make salad, bake a sweet potato and have a small side of canned pineapple but when the time came all I wanted was ham and I figure the other items can add novelty to leftovers in coming days.

A couple hours later I was ready to have a go at the Cadbury egg. In years past, I would've eaten it in about 3 bites and moved on to other goodies but times have changed: I don't plan another neo-splurge until Memorial Day or beyond and I won't have another Cadbury egg for at least a year.

It was very different, carefully and mindfully eating the egg. After the first taste, I asked myself, "Does it taste really good? Good enough to finish and count as my holiday neo-splurge?" My answer was yes so I continued to lick at the creme.

"How would I rank the flavor?" was my next question. Is it better than the ham? I guess it is. Maybe better than a leafy salad with oil and vinegar, but not really that MUCH better. Is it as good as frozen berries with yogurt or heavy cream? Hmm. Yes, I decided, as good but not better. Better than a grapefruit? You know what, no, not better than a nice peeled grapefruit. And definitely not better than a ripe banana or a good plum.

So now I know--the goodness of a Cadbury egg fits somewhere between ham and a grapefruit. Not something to crave or feel deprived without, actually, but a nice personal splurge to mark a segment of the holiday calendar.

Do you fear eating neolithic treats in case you might binge? You might be surprised to find that if you really pay attention to the taste on your tongue, it's not that big a deal--and if you later detect brain cravings for more, remind yourself that your daily mix of foods includes items every bit as good or better and go take a walk or something.

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