Thursday, March 22, 2012

Making Choices With Food

There are a lot more people interested in food than when I started my journey 20 years ago.  I didn't start out being a foodie.  I started out as a very picky eater.  I left the room when my mom did her once a year lobster dinner.  I couldn't bear to see a crustacean boiled alive.  I wasn't into sauces and ate my spaghetti almost plain, dabbling a few red drops on top.  I'd take a grilled cheese sandwich over an elegant restaurant plate, and I loved "junk" and fast food.  Of course I loved it.  It was designed to get our taste buds and brains addicted to it, so that we would just want more more more.  The only problem here was I was constantly sick.

Then I made dramatic changes from a SAD diet to vegan to adding in herbology, ayurvedic and Chinese medicine then moving along to macrobiotics, investigating raw and Mediterranean diets.  There will always be fads and those that defend them.   Groups and sub-groups. 

The main thing is that I came around to seeing how there isn't one way.  There is finding a nice balance for yourself.  Food can be an adventure.  It can be complex or simple. 

I was at a lecture last night with scholars discussing if we should care about the history of food.  Of course we should care, I wanted to say.  We've always cared.  History told us what foods were good and which ones could kill us.  It evolved into an art.  Knowing art history can give one a greater appreciation for the art.  It makes viewing it more fun.  Perhaps knowing that my greens are giving me energy or that my radish is helping keeping my thighs thinner, makes eating those foods a lot nicer. 

I include foods now that I would have rejected giving the choice between burdock or M&M's.  Now I make choices higher than pleasure alone.  I think about how I want to feel after the meal.  Immediately and two days later.  I might feel fine after eating a muffin for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch but then regret it two days later as my skin is flaky or I just can't get enough to drink, am tired and cranky.  More than art, food has effects and consequences that we must live with.  Our choices matter.  The history of food matters because that also helps to make better choices.

You decide - How do you want to live?

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