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No Media Meals: Well-Being Practice

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The next Whole Life Challenge starts in:

Turn Off All Forms of Media During Your Meals

Simple Instructions:

  1. Do not use your mobile phone, tablet, computer, television, or radio during meals. This means phone calls, texts, email, Google, videos, podcasts, or social media — for work or for play
  2. You must do this for all meals — breakfast, lunch, and dinner — to get credit for the day
  3. This does not apply to snacks or eating food between meals (e.g. you can snack on nuts while you are on a phone call or surfing the web).
  4. You may have non-radio music playing in the room via a stereo, iPhone, etc, but it must be exclusively music.

Watch this video for an explanation of this Well-Being Practice from Whole Life Challenge co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck.

Why Is This Practice Important?

The practices and traditions we have around food can give us energy, connect us to our community, and even define who we are. Our eating practices also have the potential to affect us in negative ways.

Given how important eating is to our existence, it’s amazing what short shrift it gets in modern life. It’s never a surprise to see someone triple-tasking – eating, while trying to be with someone at the table, while texting someone else between bites and live conversation.

We eat standing up, settle for fast food, “grab a bite” when we have time, and answer emails while we lunch. We’ve largely disconnected from that which nourishes our body and our soul. And we’re paying the price, both physically and mentally.

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This week you will not simply change your “diet.” You will explore a different relationship with food, with your community, and with yourself. You may see what it’s like to have eating play a totally different role. What if meal times were became opportunities to re-energize? To recover? Or to commune, with yourself, with family, or with nature? What if meals were truly the times of nourishment on all levels?

Imagine what it would be like if the time you spent eating fed more needs than just the grumbling in your stomach.

For More on This Practice

Traver Boehm is what you might call an expert on “no media meals.” He spent most of 2016 disconnected from electronics due to spending 28 days in the wilderness, another 28 days in total darkness, and a month studying meditation in Big Sur, California. For Traver’s thoughts on the practice of eliminating electronics during mealtimes, click through to the podcast and jump to the part at 1:02:28.

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Michael Stanwyck
Michael Stanwyck is the co-founder of The Whole Life Challenge, an idea that developed during his seven years as a coach and gym manager at CrossFit Los Angeles.

He graduated from UCLA with a BA in philosophy as well as a degree from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, and feels food is one of the most important parts of a life - it can nourish, heal, and bring people together.

Michael believes health and well-being are as much a state of mind as they are a state of the body, and when it comes to fitness, food, and life in general, he thinks slow is much better than fast (most of the time). Stopping regularly to examine things is the surest way to put down roots and grow.

He knows he will never be done with his own work, and believes the best thing you can do for your well-being starts with loving and working from what you’ve got right now.