# At Home With Madame Chic # Diet and Exercise

Eat Lunch With No Distractions

I'm not trying to be dramatic here, but today I do have a small piece of advice that can change your life. It's to do with how you eat lunch.

Technology, in particular the internet, has changed our lives in the most amazing ways. In other ways it has also been a detriment. It's changed everything from the way we communicate to the way we eat. This change can be judged as good or bad. I think it depends on how you use the internet. I'm clearly a big fan of the internet because it is how I reach you with my blog and YouTube channel. I love being able to publish these blogs every week and to share my ideas with people around the world.

But when you become addicted to the internet, it can become bad thing.

So what does this have to do with eating lunch? While we tend to eat breakfast and dinner with other people, lunchtime is often taken solo. You are either by yourself at home, or perhaps you take lunch at your desk at work. Many times when we eat alone we figure we don't have anyone to talk to so we get out our phone and start browsing while we eat. Or we stay at our computer and click away at news articles, blog posts and status updates.

Meanwhile what is happening while we are doing this? We've eaten our lunch, although you never would have known it. We pay little attention to the food we are eating or how it's going down or how full we are or how nourished we feel. After lunch we jump right back into our hectic day.

I refer to lunchtime in At Home With Madame Chic as the intermission of the play that is our day. Like an intermission, eating lunch is truly a break- a chance for our bodies to recharge. When you attend the ballet you will often have one or more intermissions. This is not only for the dancers to rest in between acts, but for the audience to take a break as well. We need the break that lunchtime provides so it's important to take full advantage of this time off.

My number one eating tip in At Home With Madame Chic is to have lunch with no distractions. Turn the ringer off on the cell phone, shut down the computer, don't even look at a magazine. Sit at a nicely set table (or as best as you can do, especially if you are eating at your desk) and either listen to soothing music or listen to the silence and focus on what you are eating.

You will notice an intense resistance to this. You will want to read the news. You will want to peruse Pinterest. You will want to checkout the trending topics on twitter. You will want to watch a YouTube video. Don't do it. Hold out. Notice the resistance and be amused by it.

It is especially important for you to practice this on days when you are feeling rushed or overwhelmed with your work load. It is days like these when you need this respite the most. After you eat lunch this way, you feel as though you were just on a mini-vacation. It is truly liberating.

For more on this topic, check out this week's video. If you are unable to see the video above, click here, look in the sidebar of this blog, or check out my channel: www.youtube.com/TheDailyConnoisseur


This week I am officially a New York Times bestselling author! This is a dream realized for me. Thank you to all of the readers who made this happen.

My TEDx talk on the Ten-Item Wardrobe is featured on LifeHacker allowing this liberating concept to reach an entirely new audience of people all around the world.

At Home With Madame Chic is featured on many publications this week, including:

Laura Denno


Chic Mummy


One Can't Get Over the Habit blog

Chick Lit Club

Madame Chic Inspiring Thought
Notice any addictive behaviors you have with regard to the internet. Are you addicted to checking your smartphone? Does this affect your life in any negative ways? Pay attention to this and vow to be more in the moment.

Comment of the Week
On Facebook, Rose M. writes:
"I am thoroughly enjoying dipping into your book each day and savouring it. Thank you so much for the In a Time Lapse - Ludovico Einaudi recommendation in the music lists, I am head over heels in love with this music and have picked up two more of his albums -- Islands and Nightbook."

Rose: In a Time Lapse is one of my favorite albums! It is truly beautiful music. I hope that more people fall in love with it as we have.

This week I would love to know... how do you eat your lunch? Are you guilty dining with your phone as a companion? Would you like to make any changes to the way you eat your meals? I love to hear from you. Leave me a comment and perhaps yours will be picked as the comment of the week!

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Rose said...

When I finally left school after 42 years (it's OK, 25 of those were teaching!) I swore that I would never again eat lunch out of a plastic box or cling wrap, and I'v e stuck to that vow. A plate, a glass, a knife and fork elevate lunch from a grabbed snack to a meal worth enjoying.

WendyMcLeodMacKnight said...

Hi Jennifer, thanks for the shout out for my blog one can't get over the habit! As you know, I loved the book and am definitely gifting it this holiday season! And yes, today, I will sit at the dining room table....

TheGirlCan'tHelpIt! said...

This review of your new book is excellent! http://thewardrobecode.com/2014/10/06/a-chic-manual-for-modern-life/

I've been on the fence about purchasing, but not any more :)

Crestwood said...

Lunch time is my "get personal business done during work hours" or "squeeze in a walk for exercise" time; however, I believe strongly in the notion of eating mindfully and taking a break. It's not an all-or-nothing proposition--I could take a day or two during the week to eat with no distractions, and run errands or take a walk on other days. Thanks for the idea!

LilyBart said...

I'm afraid this post hit a little too close to home.

I need to go away now and reflect.

(Thank you)

celkalee said...

I have to laugh a little to myself because as a health care professional I can only remember sitting down to eat a meal at work once or twice in a 40 year career! I would gulp a bite between patients or skip the meal altogether. Now while I am trying to change this bad habit it is not as easy as one would think. Right now I am getting ready to leave the house, not having had lunch, on the way to the hospital and thinking about grabbing a piece of cheese and a cup of coffee to eat on the way. See what I mean?

karla kane said...

I am a stay-at-home mom and homeschooler of three children with one on the way. Lunchtime used to be very stressful until I took the time to train the children to enjoy a nice hot meal as well as learn proper table manners and etiquette. I often get finished eating first and read to them. We now enjoy that time together and reap the benefits.
By the way I have thoroughly enjoyed both of your books and read them a few times.

The Bron said...

Hello there Jennifer,

After years of getting crumbs at my work keyboard, to now being a stay at home wife and picking at food from 11-2pm, today I had a Madame Chic lunch.

I knew I would enjoy savouring my food, but I was also surprised to re-learn the lesson "How you do anything is how you do everything". This morning I hadn't bothered to dress nicely (slaps wrist), wearing comfortable clothes suited to the dreary day here.. and if I am totally honest look a little like pajamas, at least when worn together.

As I was eating my nicely prepared and dressed lunch I just felt uncomfortable wearing such slouchy clothes, and ended up changing into another pair of trousers that I'm much more comfortable answering the door in!! Suddenly I feel much more motivated to get my tasks done.

Looking forward to seeing how far I take the lesson over the next week.


Unknown said...

Great advice! I'll take on your challenge. :)

Anonymous said...

My solo meal is dinner rather than lunch, as my husband works nights. We have our main meal at lunch, of course in the diningroom, with the table set properly, cloth napkins, and a couple courses.

Once upon a time, I didn't bother much about how the table looked when I ate my dinner. It was when I started eating better -- organic meats and produce, absolutely no processed food, cooking even my solo meals from scratch -- that I decided good food should be served in a proper setting, as a way of honoring it and myself. So even though I eat dinner alone, I do the whole place setting, cloth napkin, multiple course routine. My one failing was that I read a book while I was eating. I've started to forego the book, and I must say that it IS more relaxing. Also, I get to actually taste my food, which is also a way of honoring it. We've gotten used to multi-tasking so much, and look what a country of nervous wrecks we are! If we just take the time to actually relax without the need to justify the time spent by doing something else besides, I'm sure we'd be much better off on the whole.

Kathryn Bechen said...

Congrats on your NYT bestseller, Jennifer! Good advice on sitting down for lunch; I, for one, need to practice that more. :)