Food is one of my greatest pleasures. I cook everyday - meals that are healthy, filled with color, texture and variety, and most of all nutrients. When I sit down to a meal - and I do sit down - I want something that adds value. Food is fuel, not entertainment or bulk. I want to know what I am eating is providing value. What's In It For Me?
When did eating get so complicated? We are obsessed with it. We have five senses, yet 'taste', or possible lack of it based on some of the things I see people eating in the name of diet and deprivation, is the over riding concern.
A study at the Center for Specialized Women’s Health at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio estimates that 70 to 80 percent of health risks come from poor lifestyle habits, according to Holly L. Thacker, MD, director of the study.
When did food become a vehicle for ill health instead of simply a way to maintain our bodies to function as the miraculous machines they are? When did we start misusing it? And why? We are doing this to ourselves. We are literally taking the beauty, the joy, the flavor out of the way we eat and then wondering why we are hungry. Feeding is not just about what we shove in our mouths. There is a satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from the preparation and from the actual process of eating. It may not be scientific or proven, but I'm convinced the more time I spend slicing, whisking and artfully arranging, the less I eat.
People weren't over weight when I was growing up. I truly can't remember anyone I thought of as heavy, let alone "fat". We all sat down to the table to eat delicious healthy meals, and often had dessert. Portions were small, healthy, and varied, simply prepared with not a lot of fuss. We didn't obsess about food, our weight or dieting. I can't remember hearing the word "diet" until I was in high school.
In our home meals were prepared from natural ingredients with no preservatives, processing or artificial ingredients that we couldn't pronounce. Chicken, pork or steak thinly sliced stir fried with broccoli, red pepper, garlic, ginger and served over rice was flavorful, could be prepared quickly and supplied a variety of nutrients. One serving of broiled fish, a sautéed chicken breast (pre-Dolly Parton versions), a crab cake with lemon, served with a salad tossed with olive oil and lemon, and a seasonal vegetable and dinner was served. A little planning before one trip to the store a week and meal preparation was stress free. We didn't eat out or order in. We knew what we were eating because we made it in our own kitchens.
We sat down together with no distractions. The television was not blaring in the back ground, nor was the radio. We weren't texting or checking our phones. We were paying attention to what was on our plates and having conversations with each other.
All this is running through my mind because a friend is frustrated after nine days of a ten day juice cleanse and is seeing no results. The concept of taking the much needed roughage out of our foods because we are concerned that there are fewer vitamins in the them doesn't make sense to me. If you feel the need for more vitamins, take more vitamins!
My friend is feeling deprived and is ready to go back to eating the pizza and hamburgers. I would be too. Depravation is something I don't associate with food. I'd be hungry all the time! The less it is distorted and manipulated from it's natural state, the happier I am. As I said initially, I love to eat. I feed myself with food. Real food. Food that has color, vitamins and nutrients, roughage and texture.
"Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death."
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!