We just spent 10 lovely days in Japan, with many memorable family time, and countless delicious meals. I tried to be mindful with the why, what and how I ate during our trip.
I may have been 88% successful (my goal of perfection).
What I want to share with you, however, is the lessons I did learn from being in Japan, and eating Japanese food in its birthplace.
1. Flavor is king. You have heard of umami before yes? Well, the Japanese have gotten umami down!
The deep flavors of everything in their food satisfy all the senses — which leads to lesson number two.
2. Quality over quantity. The Japanese have high standards for everything, it seems, and food is one of them. When you are eating high quality foods with deeply satisfying flavors, and beautifully presented, a little goes a long way.
Most dishes are served in small portions because that’s all one needs.
3. Food pairing for optimal digestion. Most Japanese dishes come with some kind of accompaniment that helps aid digestion. From ginger, to spices, pickles and green tea, these foods are encouraged to be eaten together for optimum digestion.
I rarely experienced bloating, gas, or indigestion after a Japanese meal (except after green tea ice cream since I am lactose intolerant!).
Let’s incorporate some of these Japanese eating wisdom into our mindful eating practice, shall we?