Here are a couple of reports from you regarding intentional eating:

*Hi Jett — I’m so glad you mentioned intentional eating. When I was in France last year, I finally learned how someone could dine for hours — not by wolfing it down, but by sitting and talking quietly (no shouting over the din at your tablemates) and enjoying every bite. Of course, we were on vacation and had hours (and no TV) available. But ever since we got back, I have eaten differently.

I suggest spending a bit of time making your food aesthetically appealing on the plate. Arrange it. Vary the colors and textures. Leave some white (or whatever color your plate is) space. Add a garnish from the garden. By making it look pretty, you’ll enjoy it more. You’ll feed other appetites — like the one for visual pleasure — too. And you’ll probably eat slower, eat less, and feel better when you’re finished. The French don’t eat much, but they eat well.

My food guru has a friend who’s grandmother was imprisoned in a Nazi death camp. He told me this story:

Grandmother was pregnant when she was taken. The rations in the camp were barely enough to keep a person alive – moldy, weevily food. Under those conditions most pregnancies ended in miscarriage or stillbirths. Every time grandmother ate, she blessed the food and affirmed, more than affirmed KNEW in her soul and body, that the food was sufficient to sustain her and her pregnancy. She was in the camp for a long time, and her child was born there, a healthy, strong 9-pound baby.

Yes, you heard me right, I said food guru. His name is Mark Powell and his email address is Get in touch with him if you’re thinking about changing what or how you eat.

Imbue and Imbibe

Some of you wrote to ask me about imbue and imbibe. You’ve joined the club since that issue, or you forgot just what it was. That was issue #16, December 2005. Here’s what I said then:

The holidays are here again. This can be a stressful time for most of us, and a difficult time for many. Stick with your Breath and Water practice to maintain your balance. Continue to practice generosity of spirit.

One of the practices you’re using with your breathing is to decide what energy you want to do your day in, then fill yourself with that energy while you breathe for 5 minutes. Remember? Well, here’s another idea for keeping yourself intact and centered during the holidays. Imbue your water with that same quality.

For example, say that I choose “appreciating the beauty all around me” as my quality in the morning. For 5 minutes, I breathe and I feel myself filled with the energy of appreciating the beauty all around me. Then, during the day, as I drink my water, I imbue the water with the energy of appreciating the beauty all around me.

Here’s how: I pick up my glass of water, close my eyes, inhale and feel myself filled again with the energy of appreciating the beauty all around me. As I exhale I direct, see, sense, or imagine the water filled with that energy also. Then I drink it. I imbue the water, then I imbibe it. Imbue one glass at a time, or imbue a larger amount to drink during the day.

Two things happen. First, using my intent and my breath to focus the energy of “appreciating the beauty all around me” into the water actually does change the water. The water is imbued with that quality, it contains that energy. And I receive that quality as I drink the water.

Also, as often as I bless the water, and as often as I drink the blessed water, I remind myself of my intent from the morning to do my day with the energy of appreciating the beauty all around me. It keeps me present to my intent.

Try it. Practice it. Use it a lot.