Finding Quiet and Mindfulness Through Food

by Maggie Battista on October 8, 2013

in Blog, Travel


As I’ve built this blog and business over the past few years, I am also finding ways to enjoy this entire process, especially the perks of all these food travel adventures. I was introduced to Jodi Ettenberg, author of The Food Traveler’s Handbook: How to Find Cheap, Safe and Delicious Food Anywhere in the World, via Leo Babauta’s site Zen Habits. She wrote, “…I wanted to address food as a tool to connect to a place and its people, grounding us all in the process.” That resonated with me, so I’m sharing her amazing bits of advice below… -Maggie

“… When not at home, how do we remain mindful and carve out a quiet space even as noise and newness whir around us? For me, the answer is through food. In a guest post in 2010, Jules Clancy discussed mindfulness while eating, talking about routines and awareness during mealtimes. From a different angle, I wanted to address food as a tool to connect to a place and its people, grounding us all in the process.


Here’s how:

1. During pre-trip research, learn not just about the history of a place but also about the stories behind the foods you will eat. I often use the example of ketchup, formerly a Fujianese fermented fish sauce that has morphed into the sweet condiment we know (and some of us love) today. Each of the table condiments, spices and dishes has taken form over the years. What better way to learn and be present in what is “now” than by examining how we got here?  It is also a really effective way to get kids interested in food. Other examples include how tomatoes came to Italy and how the chili came to India. In each of these cases, we can all deepen appreciation of a place, its customs and its foods in tracing the roots of one specific food. “

Read five amazingly helpful bits of advice in the rest of the post as it appeared on Zen Habits.


Find more from Jodi Ettenberg at her blog, Legal Nomads, and in her book, The Food Traveler’s Handbook: How to Find Cheap, Safe and Delicious Food Anywhere in the World.

All photos courtesy of Jodi Ettenberg/Legal Nomads.

Eat Boutique  discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in the Eat Boutique Shop. You can also follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagramTumblr and Pinterest.


Maggie Battista

Founder at Eat Boutique
Maggie, is the founder of Eat Boutique. She started Eat Boutique as a blog in 2007, and sold out of her first gift box of small batch independent food in 2009. Maggie continues to offer unique and delicious handmade food in tasting subscriptions and seasonal gift boxes for food fans and home cooks. Maggie also hosts Eat Boutique Markets, where she spotlights cookbook authors and food makers. She’s written for Style Me Pretty, Food52, Time Out New York, Spencer Magazine, and writes a cocktail column for the popular wedding blog, Snippet & Ink. Maggie's also created retail experiences for the largest floral and event design company in New England. She regularly travels far distances to find the next great chef, farmer, food maker or host. You can follow her worldwide – and homemade – gastronomic adventures on Twitter at @mizmaggieb or @eatboutique. Maggie's first-ever cookbook Food Gift Love will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in October 2015. You may pre-order now.

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