Finding freedom from food stress through Japanese gratitude

How to navigate mindful eating for beginners

Kaki Okumura
4 min readNov 28, 2022

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The holidays used to be a very complicated time for me– it’s a confusing time where we are simultaneously encouraged to indulge in desserts and treats, but warned to watch what we eat.​

Enjoy pies (but watch your sugar!)

Have some gravy (but tsk tsk, that’s a lot of saturated fat!)

Take some mashed potatoes (but carbs!)

Even if the people around us aren’t saying these things, it can be a tough inner voice to shake off. Eating can feel stressful during this time.

But when navigating the worry we sometimes feel around food (especially “non-healthy” holiday food), instead of just trying to ignore the inner voice, maybe we can try practicing gratitude– a solution I found effective after learning about the seven gods inside my grain of rice.

Finding freedom from food stress through Japanese gratitude

There is a Japanese proverb that translates to “in a grain of rice lives seven gods”. It’s a proverb someone may admonish you with, should you leave a plate with food still on it or a particularly messy bowl of rice.

一粒のお米には七人の神様がいる —

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Kaki Okumura

Born in Dallas, raised in New York and Tokyo. I care about helping others learn to live a better, healthier life. My site: www.kakikata.space 🌱