Heading to this year’s Wanderlust festival? You can find LÄRABAR at the Kula Market Trading tent and posting all day on Instagram. Come and try their three, delicious flavours – Apple Cinnamon, Banana Choc Chip and Peanut Butter.
Finding time to sit and meditate is hard. In between overflowing work schedules, social engagements, fitness commitments and agonising to-do lists, the precious time we carve out to reconnect often falls on the wayside. It’s easy to feel disheartened when your goal to regularly meditate is hampered by the ever-enchanting snooze button or a new Netflix box set.
One way to prevent this feeling is to stop seeing meditation as a solid activity, but rather as something to weave into all aspects of your life. Lara Merriken, founder of the real food snack brand LÄRABAR, explains this perfectly: “meditation is about staying connected and in the moment”. And this doesn’t necessarily mean sitting still.
There are three key moments of the day Lara sees opportunity for us to reconnect: when we stop to eat, when we move and when we consider our intentions. It’s advice we know is coming from a good source, too.
In 2000, armed with just a cuisinart and a rolling pin, Lara began the LÄRABAR journey with the belief that a sound mind and body derived from food in its simplest state. “We are passionate about creating delicious, convenient snacks that are made from just a few, simple ingredients,” says Lara. It’s a mantra that worked to catapult LÄRABAR into becoming a much-loved snack stateside before joining us here in the UK.
Eating well equates to feeling well – but, while we’ve repeatedly been told what we should eat (namely, natural and real food) little discussion has gone into just how we should eat. In the simplest terms, mindful eating is a practice in which you approach eating with intent – taking time to really savour and enjoy what you consume while considering the origins of each morsel and the nourishment it provides. As a meditation, it helps us experience the present through our food while inviting us to question whether we are responding to actual hunger or an emotional trigger, preventing overeating. For Lara, mindful eating also helped identify just which foods made her feel good. “I was a junk food addict in my younger days, but then I discovered the right natural foods to bring my body, mind, and spirit to life. It’s why LÄRABAR snacks bars are simple, pure and contain no more than six ingredients. Put simply, it’s food made from food that makes our body and mind feel great.”
Another daily outlet that provides an opportunity for meditation is when we move our bodies. Running and yoga are both great ways to practice “moving meditation”, Lara encourages. Next time you set out to exercise, pay attention to your movement, muscles, breathing, and tension. Listen to what your body and mind are telling you – are you in constant comparison with the person running beside you, or are you taking time to notice the world passing by? Mindfulness when exercising can amplify satisfaction and bring clarity, as Lara discovered. “I have always loved running because it’s highly physical and it’s also a moving meditation for me. I absolutely love the feeling of being outside and running through a neighbourhood or city. Yoga is the perfect counterbalance to running for me. It’s also highly physical which I love but it also challenges me to use and push my body in new ways that feel amazing. Similar to running, it’s also a form of meditation.”
When we set an intention, we are creating a guiding principle to help us navigate through our days and the decisions we make. Maybe you intend to be more sustainable, or to be more forgiving of yourself and others. Let these intentions gently direct your daily actions. Intention setting doesn’t have to take long, either. Just 5 – 10 minutes each morning is more than enough to contemplate what matters the most to you in life. The result? A calmer, more centred self.
Lara’s intention is to be true to herself and spend her life doing things that are fulfilling and bring joy and satisfaction. “For me this is a combination of fulfilling work, surrounding myself with family and friends that nourish me, engaging in physical activity that I love, eating a healthy diet that is enjoyable and pursuing interests that bring me pure joy.”
Mindful eating. Movement. Intention setting – how else do you incorporate meditation into your everyday? Catch LÄRABAR presenter of the Kula Marketplace at Wanderlust 108 London on Saturday 27 July. Try their delicious fruit and nut bars to fuel your Mindful Triathlin as the the Official Snack Partner.
It started with a hike. In May 2000, Lara Merriken was trekking through the Rocky Mountains near her home town in Colorado when she stopped to refuel with a bag of trail mix. An idea came to her: what if she could combine simple, wholesome ingredients into a bar that was convenient, tasty and real? Almost two decades later, LÄRABAR can be found in grocery aisles across the globe, with Lara’s company producing millions of healthy bars each year. While the scale of business has changed, the mission has remained the same: creating food made from food. Visit their website at Lärabar UK.