Mindful Moments

Welcome to April and hopefully the start of lighter days, warmer weather, and maybe somewhere in the distance, a return to normalcy. For Local Greens to keep our deliveries as normal, please return the reusable bags each week. The soar in demand means that every bag counts in our circulation and it is critical they're returned each week.

Set a calendar or phone reminder for every Thursday to return your bag. Place it by the door or in a conspicuous spot so it is in sight and in mind.

If reminders aren't your strong suit, perhaps bring your own bag when you go to collect. Transfer everything from our bag into yours right then and there, and leave our bag behind so it's ready for next week. If you're at home at the moment and a volunteer is dropping off your bag, set out your old bags for them to take along and return.

We will have to resort to plastic if enough bags are not returned each week, and no one wants that to happen. Please help us help you! Thank you.

Mindful Moments

Stress takes its normal toll in our lives in the best of times. For the past few weeks, every news report, phone alert or journey outdoors can be enough to send nerves through the roof. If you find yourself on edge, in a panic or swallowed by uncertainty, think about ways you take take a step back, quiet the chatter in your mind, and enjoy a moment of peace.

Cooking and eating are excellent moments to practice mindfulness. These daily necessities can go from chores to cheerful experiences by simply noticing each detail and focusing on the immediate present. Take, for example, preparing and cooking an onion. Does your knife slice through and crunch the skin? When do you notice the pungent scent and does it bring a tingle to your eye? What does the onion-tear feel like welling in your eye or rolling down your cheek? Moving to the stove top, does it sizzle, simmer or pop in the pan? Can you detect the caramel and sweetness coming through as it browns in the heat? Use every sense to make the cooking experience come alive and awaken or refocus your mind.

Eating can become an incredible experience when you put your mind to it. Before digging in, see the colors on your plate. Is a beetroot really purple, or perhaps burgundy, crimson or mulberry do it more justice? What shades of green can you identify in your leafy greens? Now focus on the smells. Research suggests that 80% of flavours we taste come from what we smell, so take a long, slow breath in. Is it buttery, earthy, zesty, doughy? Scent has a strong correlation to memory as well. Does this remind you of a comforting moment, a favorite holiday or the first time you experienced this food? Finally, the moment you've been building up to - taste it. Where on your tongue do you actually taste your food? Is the texture silky or crumbly; the flavors sharp or sweet? Do you have to chomp down with your molars or rip through with your incisors? The possibilities are endless and it can become an activity the whole family can try before a meal. Challenge yourselves to see who is the best smeller or the best taster, and you may discover a whole new depth to what was once familiar.

If you get really good at mindful eating, you may even experience synesthesia - when one sense becomes interpreted into another sense. This could mean "seeing a flavor" or "feeling a scent". There's a scene from Ratatouille that wonderfully illustrates this phenomenon. Whether you have a minute or an hour to experience your food, the important goal is to experience it fully. Take a moment in the coming days to listen, touch, smell, taste and see, and it could do wonders for your mind as well as your mouth.

Last Laughs

For your weekly dose of internet delight, check out these Elvis-loving cockatoos. And try not to be impressed by this family taking musicals to the next level. If you're a fan of either beer or opera, you'll love both even more after watching this video.