Make time for lunch

  • Taking time for a good lunch each day is beneficial to your body and mind.

For the Monitor
Published: 3/23/2020 5:53:49 PM

I’ve never liked to hurry through lunch. Before I began working for myself, I always took lunch breaks, no matter what job I had. It never seemed right to me to wolf down lunch or any meal.

I’ve never considered food to only be fuel. It is also one of life’s great pleasures. I was raised in a large New York Greek family that enjoyed getting together on weekends and holidays, the central focus a group meal. I was blessed to have a small army of aunts who loved making my favorite dishes. Now we call it the Mediterranean diet. I just called it delicious.

My father worked at the Bronx Terminal Market selling wholesale produce; returning home every afternoon with bags of fresh vegetables that my mother cooked to death, but at least they were fresh to begin with.

When I started my first business in Sutton more than 40 years ago, it seemed natural to take a break at noon and go out for a bite to eat. Happily, that tradition has continued.

I’m convinced a leisurely lunch is good for our health. It affords our mind a break from work, and a fresh outlook when we return. Consuming food in a relaxed setting aids digestion, making the food more usable.

Businesses that give employees liberal lunch programs benefit from happier, more productive workers. Google offers free lunches. So does the WS Badger Co. in Gilsum.

For too many, meals have become a necessary inconvenience. How many suffer from poor digestion because they rush through meals? Fast food restaurants encourage this trend. They even serve us food in our cars, making it easy to shovel in enough calories to keep our own engines running.

The slow food movement has partly balanced out fast food mania. More people are making the connection between their health and the quality of food they consume. Healthier dining options are more common.

Sharing lunch with a friend or co-worker makes the food even better. As our bellies are filled, the conversation does the same for our hearts and minds. Breaking bread with another human is one of the simplest and most profound experiences we can have on a daily basis.

Slowing down at every meal makes good sense. Taking a minute to appreciate the food we are about to consume, feeling gratitude for the life forms that are about to nourish us, elevates the experience. Food is not just fuel. We must all eat to live, but the way we eat has a direct impact on our health and quality of life.

(Sol Solomon lives in Sutton.)

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