Steep, stir, sip. Repeat. Tea and its preparation may seem mundane, but as a nutritional psychiatrist and tea lover myself, the beverage means so much to me.
If I could describe the essence of tea making, I’d borrow a page from my roots in Africa and use the word itutu—a Yoruba phrase that denotes a particular approach to life: unhurried, assured, cool, calm.
During my mornings, after I wake up, do my morning meditation, and sit down to sip my cup of my grandmother’s golden chai turmeric, that is exactly how I feel—with itutu. Drinking tea is a tradition that I shared with my beloved late grandmother since childhood. It helps me ground myself, set my intentions for the day, and start off with the right mindset.
The right foods are certainly beneficial for the brain due to their array of rich micronutrient and macronutrient profiles. However, equally important is the mindset in which we approach food, eating, and nourishment.
Eating mindfully means using your physical and emotional senses to experience your food, giving gratitude for your meals, and reflecting on your food choices to understand your underlying food motivations. This can empower you to make positive changes in your diet. The soothing art of preparing tea and slowly sipping it can promote mindfulness and help you tune into your body’s intelligence.
Adopting a ritual of preparing and sipping on a concoction that is simple and nourishing can encourage the cultivation of a calm, reflective outlook towards your eating choices and, more broadly, to life.