I was on my way home from Ottawa, Canada where I had the opportunity to do a lunchtime keynote followed by a book signing and a workshop for the Dietitians of Canada. I was hungry and had plenty of time for a snack or a light lunch. Nothing appealed to me as I perused all the menus hung outside the many airport options. That is until I saw Wicked Thai Soup on one of the menus. The printed description was “A tangy blend of aromatic spices, lemongrass, rice, chicken, coconut and peppers in a slightly creamy broth.” I didn’t bother to read the rest of the menu because I knew that was exactly what I wanted.
Mindful eating has taught me to be curious about such things. So I wondered why, even though I’ve never had that particular soup before, I craved it immediately. Sure the description was great but I wanted it even before I’d read that. I thought back to the day before…
I had given a lunchtime keynote with a guided mindful eating experience—a format I love! The only downside is that it’s often difficult for me to eat at all—much less mindfully! On that particular day, everyone was raving about the delicious Chicken Curry Soup. I actually served myself a bowl but never had the chance to eat it. The food at the reception later was wonderful, but I had this vague feeling that I had missed out on something.
Aha! I knew from previous experience that exposure to a specific food through advertising, seeing someone else eating, or even a conversation could plant a small seed of desire. I remembered a similar situation when I was absolutely elated to see risotto on a menu, only to remember that I had seen it prepared on a cooking show days before.
The next time you have a craving or a clear desire for a specific food, get curious! Is there an emotional significance to the craving—or was it just a forgotten seed?
And by the way, the soup was delicious! We found a recipe for Wicked Thai Soup online and have made it several times. (Hint: Its lighter but still good when you substitute part of the half and half with milk.)