Is it possible to really lose weight with a grape? Most certainly. Keep in mind, this is no "grape diet" or "grape juice diet" or some other fad. Losing weight with a grape is interesting as you have to look at it in a different way.
Let me explain. A while back, my wife Sharon and I went on a spiritual retreat in Boone, NC, high among the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Art Of Living Retreat Center. We attended lectures and participated in various activities throughout our stay.
We were wrapping up our group exercises and it was time for a meal. I think it was lunch, We were all very hungry and it seemed that lunch was going to be late. We were patient and no one was complaining. That however did not stop our stomachs from growling and we were wondering when we would eat as it seemed the meal was late, very late. The kitchen was being run by volunteers who were also attending courses and sessions.
At one point I heard some talk of a grape exercise and should the class do it. I had no idea what that was but if it involved eating grapes, hey I was up for it. The leader sent her assistant off to the kitchen to get some grapes. I probably wasn't alone, hoping the grapes would be here soon. I couldn't wait for the bounty of grapes to appear. The kitchen staff could carry on with their lunch duties, but so long as we all had some grapes to chomp on, that would probably hold us until we were given the word that lunch had been prepared.
To my surprise, when the grape exercise assistant reappeared in the room, I did not see any bounty or bags of grapes. Instead, he held in his hands merely a bowl and a spoon in what looked like probably only enough to feed each of us one measly grape. I'm thinking, this is an exercise?
The assistant carefully scooped out one grape per person and went around the room until we all had one. I don't think any of us were upset, more curious than anything. When I was given my grape I was instructed not to eat it. That lead us to the grape exercise.
A lot of time has passed and I don't recall all the particulars, but the grape exercise went something like this....The instructor said:
"Pretend you have never seen a grape before. Hold the grape in your hands. Do not eat the grape. Now, just look at it. Look at the grape. Observe the shape, how it is oval. Notice what the ends look like, really look at it. Look at the surface of the grape and the color, do you see how it is darker in the center and perhaps lighter at the ends..." At this point I am thinking, "this is an exercise? Couldn't they just tell stories or something until lunch is ready? I don't want to look at the grape, I want to eat it."
The instructor must have read my mind, she said again to the group "Do not eat the grape. look at it in your hand. Notice the surface texture. Do you see how mostly smooth it is? Do you see any imperfections or marks? Now look at the end with the little circle. Observe all the detail."
I, like the rest of the group, followed her instructions. We did not eat the grapes. We just held them in our hands observing all the details. Personally, I had never taken so much time with grapes before. You know, you just pop 'em in your mouth and eat 'em.
The grape exercise slowed us all down. Although we were all pretty hungry still, our focus was not on the hunger, but the grape we held in our hands and we started to notice how special this gift of nature actually was.
We were then told: "Now take the grape, and place it in your mouth, but do not bite it, just put the grape in your mouth. Then notice how the grape feels in your mouth. Use your tongue and move the grape, roll it around your mouth, notice how it feels."
Moving on she said: "Now, bite into the grape, but do not swallow the juice. Take one bite only into the grape." We all complied. "Notice how the juice tastes in your mouth. Is it sweet? Is it sour? Now, you may swallow the juice. How does the juice feel going down your throat. Observe the sensation but do not eat the rest of the grape."
"OK, now you may chew the grape and finish it. How was it? How was your grape?"
Yes, I was hungry. Yes it was only one grape, but for me it was the absolute best tasting grape I ever had in my life.
This was not just a grape exercise, it was a mindfulness exercise, which helps you focus your attention on the present, observe life and live in the moment. In today's society, we do everything fast. We move fast, we drive fast, we try to multi-task fast. We do everything fast and that includes eating. When we eat fast, we don't take the time to fully process what we are doing and what we are consuming. For example, most people just pop grapes in their mouths and eat them but do not notice all the details; colors, textures, flavors, etc. We often eat our food quickly, mindlessly and then move on.
Digestion begins in the mouth. When we slow down and chew our food, we are improving our digestion. Mahatma Gandhi said it well: "Chew your drink and drink your food." He was referring to the importance of chewing until the food turns liquid in your mouth. The more time it takes to chew your food, the better it is on your digestion and absorption. This will allow your brain to receive the signals that you are full and will ultimately eat less. If you want to lose weight, try chewing your food until it's liquid.Slow down and enjoy.
Art of Living retreat center courtesy of Sandeep Karode
Bunch of Grapes courtesy of Jose Alba and
Bowl of Grapes courtesy of Devils Apricot on Pixabay used under Creative Commons
Grape in Hand courtesy of Galaxies and Hurricanes on Photopin (license)