A recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia took us to the doors of two of the famous taverns. Chowning’s Tavern and King’s Arms. No disrespect to Christianna Campbell’s Tavern where George Washington REALLY slept, Shields Tavern, nor the Raleigh Tavern. Taverns in colonial America were highly necessary because the mode of transportation was slow and it was necessary for travelers find somewhere to sleep and eat. It was also the center for news and deep discussion regarding topics relevant in the day. The Raleigh Tavern is known for its Apollo Room where members of the House of Burgesses met in 1769 after Governor Botetourt dissolved the chamber for its blatant disrespect as they protested the Townshend Acts.
These were actually the first restaurants in America. The menu was typical of the food served at the table of any common family. No frills and certainly no claim of a heart healthy menu. Most people were only interested in filling their stomachs and not having to share a bed with too many people. It was probably a plus when the food tasted good.
As important as it was for people to eat and rest, the taverns were the social hub for the local and traveler alike. Before cell phones and internet people got their information from those passing through. I suggest we get back to socializing while we eat. If we can take time to chew our food and enjoy flavors in the recipes we may eat less! Spending meal time with family and friends will:
- Teach your children better manners such as chewing with their mouth closed.
- Draw you into each other’s lives so you can see what each of you have experienced during the day.
- You will be more aware of setting your fork down so you can finish chewing and tell your story.
- Grades will improve, trust is built and you save money.
- As a parent you have more control over the kinds of foods available for your family and you can teach your children to taste new things.
The Zen of Weight Loss encourages SLOW food done right. “From Nuked to Slow Food” highlights our need to eat slowly and allow the brain to respond to fact that your stomach is full. Eating fast fills that tank and the brain sends you back for seconds before it knows you’re actually full. Remember the brain likes patterns and it knows hunger means eat! So, it tells you to eat more. . . when actually you are full. Make eating an exercise in mindfulness. Eating slowly will let your stomach send the signal to the brain that it is full and there is no room to top off the tank. Then refine your listening skills by making sure everybody at the table gets to share a story. This is your chance to eat well — but less — become healthy and stop the insane pace you keep outside the dining room. Healthy lifestyles come when you
- Pause — observe, be, proceed
- Breath — three deep breaths and listen
- Be grateful — say thank you for everything you face