I truly relish my alone time—specifically during meals.
For me, there is sheer joy in waking up with the house to myself and hearing the slow gurgle of the kettle. The low murmur of the stove, the hollow thud of a cutting board dropping onto a kitchen counter.
Beyond that, I love being able to really enjoy my food, to really allow myself to be nourished in my own special way.
Over the years though, I’ve realized that not everyone shares the same excitement for the solo meal. I’ve heard many people express not only concern but sheer anxiety over potentially having to eat alone—in public or in their own home.
“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are.” ~ Adelle Davis
People use technology as a decoy during their mealtime experience, using their phones and computers and other gadgets to detract attention from the fact that they’re dining alone. The truth is that eating alone doesn’t have to be nerve wracking. If anything, eating alone can be an empowering, fulfilling, and rejuvenating self-love practice.
Here are 6 tips on how to embrace your own solo meal:
1. Cater to your own taste buds.
Dining solo is an opportunity to explore your palate. Do you really enjoy cilantro or kohlrabi or foods that no one else in your circle particularly enjoys?
Dining alone is an excellent time to cater to your own taste buds as well as experiment with new flavors, textures and tastes in order to better understand your food needs.
2. Create a blissful environment.
Solo dining provides a space for you to get creative and create a mealtime landscape that you enjoy. Think about creating a space that nurtures all of your five senses and makes you feel supported and excited to eat. Enjoy opera, dim lighting, and beeswax candles? Go for it. Does a vase full of colorful flowers and the smell of essential oils really get you going? Embrace that.
Creating a dining environment that is speckled with objects, sounds, smells, tastes and textures that make you feel vibrant will in turn create a vibrant mealtime experience.
3. Dine on your time.
Solo dining allows you to eat as leisurely as you desire. You don’t have to worry about overstaying your welcome in your own kitchen. Use this time to better understand your relationship with food and time.
4. Don’t worry about what people think.
Although this is often easier said than done, allow yourself to release the notion that eating alone is a weird or shameful act. You are not friendless or lonely or strange for choosing to enjoy your own company while eating a meal. You are simply an (amazing!) individual who is eating without another person!
5. Really taste your food.
Pace yourself throughout your meal and chew thoroughly. Perhaps try closing your eyes for a few minutes as you eat. Notice how you experience the flavor when the food first hits your tongue versus how you experience the flavor after you have swallowed your food. Notice the various textures and flavor profiles of your meal.
Allow your experience with your food to be sensual and intimate.
6. Create a personal ritual.
Bless your food, think of something that you’re grateful for, recall a happy memory or sing a few verses of your favorite song. Treat mealtime like a ceremony, an event—like the sacred practice that it is.
Author: Lauren Nixon
Apprentice Editor: Carlene Kurdziel / Editor: Renee Picard
Photo: Sophie Sarkar