Retreats – Food

(This is part 11 in our ongoing series on Planning Your Retreat)

foodWhile we previously mentioned food only briefly, we want to be sure to give this complex topic the attention it deserves. We will be dedicating two posts to the consideration of food.

Why is food so important?

  • Food is necessary for our very survival.
  • Good nutritional food optimizes our physical health.
  • Food provides our body’s energy.
  • Food satisfies hunger.
  • Food choices can signal eating disorders, addiction or illness.
  • Providing food is an expression of love, nurturing and security.
  • Food issues are a daily choice.
  • Food can affect our appearance.
  • Food provides an opportunity for gratitude.
  • Food can produce psychological effects, i.e., feeling sleepy, alert, comforted or high energy.
  • Food behaviors can be an indicator of educational level.
  • When food satisfies our taste, it provides pleasure.
  • Food allows us to feel in control.
  • Eating can be a form of relief from feelings of boredom or frustration.
  • Food is a common form of entertainment.
  • Food choices can be affected by moral, ethical and social beliefs, i.e., animal welfare and environmental issues.
  • Our taste in food helps define our individual identity.
  • Our traditions regarding food help define our family identity.
  • Our food customs helps define our cultural identity.
  • Food is a social event.
  • Food choices can be habitual.
  • Food can be used to influence stress and mood.
  • Food choices are affected by physical location and food accessibility.
  • Food provides an opportunity for giving and sharing.
  • Food choices can have spiritual and/or religious implications.
  • The cooking of food is a defining attribute of humanity.
  • The preparation of food is an outlet for creativity.
  • Food is an expression of celebration.
  • Food choices and preparation can be an expression of self-worth.
  • Food amounts and choices can be used to impress others.
  • Choices regarding where, what and with whom to eat often include financial considerations.
  • Decisions regarding what, where and whether to eat often include time considerations.
  • Food choices can be a reflection of economic status and social class.
  • Food choices are affected by and reflected in life stages.
  • The acquiring of food can be a strong motivator.

Next week, we will use this information to address the planning of food for your retreat.

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