Veganuary is so bland and beige and boring.. said nobody ever. Pretty chuffed with this plate of black beans, avo, rocket, quinoa, broccoli and kale: scrum-ding. I would give you the recipe, but that’s pretty much it. I did add some olive oil, cider vinegar and lemon juice dressing though.

Now usually I would make my plate look appetising and pretty, take a snap, and then wolf down the grub whilst posting the photo on instagram and then scroll through pictures of other people’s lunches, hearting away, whilst being oblivious of what I’m shovelling into my own mouth but TODAY THIS CHANGED and instead I tried Mindful Munching.

Vegan Black Bean and Quinoa Salad for eating mindfully during #veganuary!
Black Bean, Avocado and Quinoa Salad

I’ve decided to put my toxic relationship with technology on a boil wash and get all those nasty habits out of my life once and for all by making some actual real changes to my behaviour, rather than just saying that I’ll look at my phone less and engage in life more and then post an instagram quote about it whilst walking into a lamppost in the street.

I’m not going to call this a ‘digital detox’ because that suggests that there could be a ‘retox’ at some stage and I’d prefer this to be a permanent change, so instead, I’m calling this:


Here’s how it went:

  1. I made a plate of food for lunch and spent a few extra seconds making it look like something I pay far too much for at a healthy vegan cafe, I’m a big fan of eating with your eyes, I don’t just make plates of food pretty for instagram, weirdly I do it when my phone is dead and there’s no one around, just because I love food that much. Especially foods that grow straight out of the earth.

2.  Then, I took a photo. I’m still human… salads this good deserve to be given their 15 minutes of fame.

3. Then, I sat down, not on the sofa where Peanut my dog was licking her bum and looked ready to start on my food/face next, but on a chair, with my plate on the table in front of me.

4. Next, I ate the food bite by bite, not whilst watching Netflix. Or whilst catching up on some PodCasts or YouTube videos. And without scrolling through my phone or replying to emails or speaking on the phone (gross habit). I didn’t read a book or write in my diary, I just did some old-school eating.

5. My mind inevitably went all over the place, to all the things I needed to do this afternoon, to what I should make for dinner, to the idea to write this very blog post and what I was going to say. But instead of wolfing down my food faster and faster, I tried to slow down and keep returning my attention to the taste, the colours and the texture of what I was experiencing.

6. I started to remember mine and Darren’s South American travels last year, when we couldn’t find rocket anywhere for a few months and I really craved it. I remembered the guy in Colombia who sold avocados the size of your head from a hand pulled cart by walking through the streets shouting ‘AVOCADO, AVOCADO!’ in Spanish. No I wasn’t dreaming this is an actual thing that happens. I thought about how much Darren hates black beans haha!

7. I realised how connected food is to our emotions and experiences and appreciated all that (slowly disappearing) deliciousness in front of me even more.

8. I realised I was full about 1/2 way through. I still ate the rest because I’m really greedy, but usually I’d finish still feeling hungry and look for a snack.


All in all I felt more satisfied after. I didn’t finish wishing I’d had pancakes instead, or feeling stressed out for not replying to a whatsapp fast enough.

Most days I’m on the go and lunch is eaten on a bus out of a tupperwear, so this mindful lunch is unlikely to happen more than a couple of times a week, but whenever I find myself lucky enough to have time to savour my lunch, this is what I will be doing. If you don’t already then I recommend you try some old-school eating. The most satisfying and fulfilling meal you could possibly have.

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