This week, as I often do, I went to my neighborhood shopping center and suddenly It hit me. This shopping center that was packed with all sorts of shops up until a few years back, has turned lately to an all food establishment. Just food. From every kind. Specialty deli, Greek bakery, Italian restaurant, herbs shop, beverage shop and much more. No doubt a culinary festival.
combine this with numerous other trends that keep popping up such as “low carbs”, “keto” “gluten free”, “clean eating”, “organic” and so on and you get a society that is obsessed with food on all its layers and formations.
How can one survive all this information and diversity of food and have value from it – mentally and health wise?
I suggest 3 new ways to think about our food, enjoy what it has to offer and eat it in a way that is responsible for the world and our body;
1.Variety and moderation.
As do all things in life, it’s all about balance. We all know that if we eat a lot of candy it probably won’t be best for our body. But what happens if we only eat super foods? Would that give us strength and immunity forever? Probably not. The key to real health of body and soul is variety and moderation. Eat everything local agriculture has to offer and yet listen to our bodies and not exaggerate. True, it isn’t simple, it takes practice and awareness to our bodies. It’s not some magic formula that promises health if you only eat certain food at certain times. But it is the only way you can combine both worlds – enjoy your food and be nourished by it.
2. Know your food.
Knowing your food means know things about it because food matters. It means something. it is a part of our survival on this planet and it also affects our environment and shapes our economy, our society and basically every dimension in our lives. Once we understand its many implications we care where our food comes from, who made it and how. The answer to all those questions will grant us better and deeper understanding with our food. We will feel more connected to our food, be more engaged with it and eat food with a sense of identity and feel something about it. Eventually the result Is that we eat better and more consciously.
3. Food as a source of pleasure and not a “risk factor”.
Sometimes it feels like we are only told what not to eat. Don’t eat too much sugar, don’t eat too much salt, don’t eat too much saturated fat. All of these “no’s” take us to a world in which we see food as a risk factor for disease, for poor quality of life, for obesity and so on. This is less than optimal way of looking at our food. I suggest we look at food positively. As an opportunity for enjoyment, to experience different cultures, to improve our health and quality of life. If we look at food in that way, I believe we will have great food and have something more we enjoy doing.
Eventually you can see that there are two kinds of people – those who eat to survive and those who eat to enjoy. Those who see food as a means for survival and those who see food as happiness, joy, wants to understand where food comes from, explore new tastes and a variety of dishes. They also know when to balance, when comes the time to eat a light snack and when to eat something “heavier” because they listen to their bodies. Let’s learn to fall in love with our food and acquire physical health and a healthy relationship with food at the same time– that thing we consume multiple times a day, every day, all our lives.