Wednesday, June 22, 2016

DBT and Judaism(Part 2): Mindful Eating and Keeping Kosher

Disclaimer: This blog post is not meant to shame anyone who doesn't keep strict Kosher(go ahead and argue with me about whether there are degrees of Kashrut), rather it is to show how it made my mindful eating process a healthy one.

I never really made an effort to keep Kosher until my senior year of high school. We never ate pork or shellfish, but I would eat non-kosher meat all the time and mix milk and meat. Since coming to Brandeis, I still don't keep strict Kosher, but I certainly think about it more and that intentionality in food choice is what I want to connect to mindfulness (if you haven't read last week's blog post, go read that first).

A few weeks ago, my mother offered me a piece of turkey with my lunch. I was having ravioli. I pointed it out to her that it wasn't Kosher, and I tried to make clear to her that it wasn't a big deal; I just wanted to make her aware that it was present. I am now aware of what is kosher and what isn't, and when I break the rules of Kashrut(usually when the dining hall would not have provided me with a sufficient meal if I did not mix milk and meat), I am keenly aware that I am doing it.

Being mindful about food is something that I did in a very unhealthy way in the past. Another principle that they teach you about in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy is called walking the middle path(essentially, nothing is black and white), and that's how I used to treat food. i used to treat certain foods as "good" and certain ones as "bad," and I would feel guilty and make myself absolutely miserable if I ate those foods, so eating mindfully can be done in a bad way. However now, since it is connected to Judaism, something that I very obviously adore, I can eat mindfully in a healthy way and be a bigger part of my community in general.

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