Phoenix Life Coaching


Slow Food

Slow Food? Is that when there’s a long line at the drive through? Well, not quite, but it certainly has it’s roots in our fast food / fast life mentality.

Slow Food is a type of food but it is also a social movement, an attitude, and a lifestyle. It began as a protest in 1986 against a McDonald’s Restaurant in Rome by Carlo Petrini and a group of supporting associates. Concerned about the social and esthetic implications of the “golden arches” in a historic part of Rome, they protested and finally convinced Mickey Dee’s to eliminate the neon arches. From there, this collective effort grew into a grass-roots movement that promoted taking the time and making the effort to seek out local produce and cuisine. Since then it has evolved into a social movement to encourage people to take back control of the rhythms of their lives.

One of the basic tenants of Slow Food is that as the pace of Western society has sped up in recent decades, many of us have surrendered control of our lives to the clock and the system. As a result, we find ourselves rushing about, multi-tasking as a matter of habit, and feeling that we have no time to do the things we truly enjoy. Indeed, many have actually lost touch with what they enjoy. In the end, time is our most precious commodity and too many of us waste it in a mindless, disconnected blur of activity. The phenomenon of “Fast Food” is only one result of this.

Slow Food promotes the concept that to truly enjoy our lives, we must take the time to be fully engaged in all that we do. If something is worth doing, it’s worth taking the time to really experience it, and so it is important to chose your activities and how you spend your time wisely. If you find yourself thinking it would be nice to do this or that but feel that you “don’t have the time,” then you may be failing to embrace life and could be following a recipe for unhappiness and dissatisfaction. It’s not so much a matter of slowing everything down in your life, though many would benefit from that. It is a matter of stepping off the treadmill and taking control. Choosing to multi-task at breakneck speed now and then is fine, as long as you can and do choose to slow down and smell the roses or, in this case, taste the local cuisine.

I often suggest to coaching clients that they follow a morning ritual before getting out of bed. They first do a personal check-in by asking themselves how they feel. They then remind themselves of their ultimate prize, what it is they seek in life, and then think about what they can do that day to make it happen. Finally, they ask themselves how they want that day to look and feel. By incorporating the notion of taking the time to live well in the last question, people often find that they make better choices in how they spend their time and who they share it with.

Slow Food is now an international movement with over 60,000 members in 35 countries. If you wish further information, check out their website at


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G. Stephen Renfrey, Ph.D