Am What I Ate & Will Eat

When we have peace, then we have a chance to save the planet. But if we are not united in peace, if we do not practice mindful consumption, we cannot save our planet ~Thich Nhat Hanh

pure pumpkin ~d nelson

pure pumpkin ~d nelson

You are what you eat
was the mantra infused
during undergrad dietitian training
many decades ago.
Filled with PRO, CHO, Fats, Vit, Min & water
felt nutritionally fit back then.
With daily walking & biking
felt physically fit, too.
No need to panic,
I’m organic.

scales don’t tell the whole truth!

Now seeing clearer
we are what we consume.
This precious winter squash
containing nothing less than
a true miracle of
sunshine, rain, earth, hard work
patience of time and good fortune
along with its ancestor’s seeds.
Can I prepare & eat it joyfully
with gratitude & reverence
for all the conditions
which give complete nourishment,
for my existence?

Slowly chewing each bite
30 or more times,
calling it by its true name
So many beings do not have enough to eat.
May I eat just enough
to keep up good health,
not become overweight
eating more than my fair share
of this precious earth’s bounty.

What comes in through my eyes,
ears, nose, taste & touch
also feed my body, mind, heart & soul.
May I consume so that health,
peace, happiness & well-being are maintained.
Aware that many websites, books, movies, songs
likely are not healthy for me or others.

My deepest desire is also a type of food.
By wanting to care for myself & help others be well,
acting to preserve our precious planet
& reverse the process of climate change,
I add my humble eating habits’ intention,
to your courageous eating habits’ intention,
to humanities potential awakening
– for a future to be possible
with mindful consumption,
one simple squash at a time.


57 thoughts on “Am What I Ate & Will Eat

  1. cattan2011

    I love to eat the pumpkin soup but don’t want to worry about the weight problems as it create a burden of think before you eat…..awesome and thanks for sharing.

  2. Sonnische

    It was just this realization of mindful eating and compassionate consumption that led me to Buddhism and the wonderful traditions taught by our beloved teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. A health issue led me to a vegan lifestyle, and that led me back to meditation and to Buddhism, with the practice of ahimsa, non-harming of all beings. Now the Metta Sutta and Heart Sutra, retranslated by Thay and entitled The Insight That Brings Us to the Other Shore, are important cornerstones of my daily practice as I slowly commit them to memory. Thank you, David!

    1. smilecalm Post author

      I’m grateful for your kind words, Sonnische!
      Thank you for sharing your deep practice & high aspiration to remember those wonderful teachers! Bon Appetite 🙂

  3. noellevignola

    In love with this piece. On the Insight Timer, which is a meditation timer with social groups there is a group called “Food is not the Fourth Refuge”. I am totally posting this piece there. Many are looking to adopt more mindful eating and/or are considering fasting. Great piece. Did you just wrap and bake that pumpkin after de-seeding it, or did you prep the insides more. YUM!!

    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for your kind words, noellevignola! this time i was lazy and baked whole as you describe. i have stuffed it with a rice & nut mixture with happy results. recipes on-line, aplenty 🙂

  4. Ben Naga


    In all the time of breaking fast together
    Only chance decided how the food was shared
    What became the eye looked into
    The hand the other held
    And so we are as one
    And yet by chance divided

    How so near?
    How so far?
    Ah love
    For whom else should I eat?

  5. Thomas Peace (author)

    Nice posting! Personally, I dislike saying I practice anything; practicing makes most minds mechanical and more unalive. The photos of the pumpkin are wonderful. They remind me, however, of a fruitarian that I once met (through some vegetarian friends). His idea of a meal was to eat one big melon at a time. He thought that eating vegetables that are green and growing was wrong. He looked very sick and emaciated. What he was doing to his body was unforgivable. It is so easy to get carried away and go too far in one direction. It is good that you are using other ingredients with pumpkin.

    I’ve been a vegetarian since 1973, but I no longer regularly eat much rice at all. Rice, these days, contains a large quantity of arsenic… partly due to the treatments used for the Gulf oil spills and such. One thing that many people, especially vegetarians, are sorely lacking in… is essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids are called that because they truly are essential… and the body cannot synthesize them. Read about DHA.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      thanks for sharing your caring way of living, Thomas! generally i don’t use the term practice, rather way of living, myself. we’re so fortunate that the earth provides so many nutritious things for us to eat. while the body does it’s best to make the most of our choices, beneficial or not 🙂

  6. Alison and Don

    What a beautiful contemplation on our connection to food, desire, and the health of the whole planet. Beautiful. Thoughtful. Everything is connected.
    I’ve often felt it’s not what we eat but how we eat it.
    I do so agree that many websites, books, movies, songs likely are not healthy for me or others.
    Thank you.

  7. Susan Scarlet-Macaw

    Great post again! As I get older, I keep noticing the many benefits of a plant-based diet. I became an ovo-lacto-vegetarian 22 years ago and now I have dropped all dairy and eggs. I feel better and at my age I can outrun many twenty year olds. I think our poor diets are killing us slowly. Thanks for posting this, I will retweet it. This knowledge is valuable for other generations. Susan

    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for your kind words, Susan! i’ve been eating vegetarian for about the same amount of time, myself. while i don’t run, i can walk slow as well as most. wishing you continued well-being 🙂

  8. lauramacky

    I’ve been a lot more into healthy eating these days. I haven’t had red meat in six weeks. Dairy upsets me, wine upsets me…all the things I used to eat! Now I eat a mostly plant-based diet with some fish and chicken. Thank you for the affirmation!

  9. milliethom

    Excellent post, Smilecalm. I love your poem and the pumpkin pictures are great. Pumpkin is such a versatile food – so wasted on Cinderella’s coaches and suchlike. My greatest use for pumpkin is in soup. I know Americans are fond of pumpkin pie but I’ve never tried that. Besides, the pastry would deduct from the pumkin’s healthy aspect. (Not that I don’t like pie, you understand. It’s just not in keeping with the theme of this awesome post. So I won’t discuss all the pies I make with other things! Haha.)

    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for sharing your kind pumpkin thoughts, milliethom! many pumpkins get put out as halloween decorations around here. i was able to help several have a more noble fate! enjoy your pumpkin soup, or pie 🙂

  10. greenlakeblue

    Ahhh! so interesting. It was my birthday last week and I had a delicious pumpkin dessert which I mindfully ate with such gratitude. Your post is so good. I think we can all try to meditate while eating, it expands our awareness of the everyday life. We might end up discovering new tastes of foods we have for granted but never really paid much attention.

    1. smilecalm Post author

      thank you for kindly sharing your birthday pumpkin dessert, greenlakeblue! ordinary foods can take on epic transformations when savored slowly 🙂

  11. JoAnne

    I am inspired by this poem. Butternut squash soup with peanut butter, rosemary, garlic, and a few red pepper flakes is my favorite way to eat squash these days.

  12. harulawordsthatserve

    What a perfect post of inspiration for me as I prepare to begin my job cooking in the kitchen in a Buddhist retreat centre! Your wise, witty words and the stunning, colourful, nourishing images will feed my desire to serve the best, blessed, most nourishing food I can with gratitude and awareness for all those being who participated in growing it. Hugs, H xxx

  13. sheldonk2014

    We share a love for food,I was a professional chef/cook for to many years,it’s another form of expression for me. Thank you for your like,that poem was very dear to my heart
    As always Sheldon


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