Today I decided to go out for lunch. I normally eat veggies at home with fish or some meat. I generally eat healthy but today I decided to have some pizza. The smell of the melting cheese. The garlic bread that has that super aromatic smell. And did I mention the cheese? Oh yes, I love food. And I think food is the ultimate celebration of life.
Eat and Live
Growing up, I have always loved to eat. But eating made me fat. So when I was eighteen, I decided to go on a diet but not the usual diet where you feel hungry. I decided to eat healthy and enjoy my food. With proper exercise and my healthy food intake. I lost 50lbs or about 25kgs (I did not do the math). When I was 26, I decided to go to culinary school to study to become a professional cook. Food meant everything to me.
But I know many of us feel guilty when eating. We feel that we should not be enjoying food so much. We feel that to be healthy, we must sacrifice what we want. But I say no to that. You can eat WHATEVER YOU WANT as long as it is in moderation.
When you eat, you celebrate life. You take part on the creation of the food; from the point of planting to harvesting to cooking and to serving.
1. When we eat with others, we share a part of ourselves with them – This is great for building relationships such as in family and friends.
2. Eating can destress you – You can forget your problems and worries when you eat. An adequate serving of ice cream such as half a cup can help fill your sweet tooth and make you feel better on a bad day. Just remember that eating does not solve the problem and to eat in moderation
3. Cooking is an art – By preparing food for others, you get to show your love for them. You can also be creative. Presentation is key in making the food appetizing. And by cooking you get to let your creative juices flow.
4. You get to experience the life of others – When you partake the food of others and how they prepare it, you participate in their life. For example in some countries they eat with their hands. This directly connects them with their food. And you can do it too. In other countries, they use chopsticks. This requires certain skills. By experiencing food the way other experience it, you get to see life in a different manner.
5. Eating is an adventure – Well, I’m a foodie. I love to eat and try out new food and restaurants. I’m not the elitist type but sometimes I do eat in fancy places. But more often than not I love eating street food. I love taking in the food that local people eat. I like to try new things. One time I ate octopus balls or Takoyaki as it is known in Japan. I did not know I would love it but the taste and sensation it brought me made me fall in love with the steaming hot balls.
Travel With Your Taste Buds
Some people travel to see the world or see a place or see a city but have you ever heard of traveling with your taste buds? You can literally learn so many things from the people of a certain place by trying out their local food. But don’t try posh restaurants (unless you really want to), try the normal everyday food that people eat from that place. This would allow you to understand who they really are. If ever you get lucky to get actually invited to a home of a local, grab that opportunity. Eating with others allow you to see how they partake in food
1. Italian people love fresh ingredients with simple preparations. They take time to savor their meals
2. Japanese people say “Itedakimasu” before eating because of their Shinto religion which means everything has has life before and they have to say thank you for the life that was sacrificed in order for them to eat.
3. In France, wine is a staple part of their meal and even in their cooking. Lunches can take hours to finish because they really enjoy their food.
4. The Spanish do siesta or take a nap after eating. They believe that because you work hard, you must equally enjoy life.
5. Americans are always into fast food not because they are lazy but because they are hardworking people who are always on the go and want food to be taken in fast.
6. Filipinos say “Kumain ka na?” or “Have you eaten?” when they see someone instead of just saying “How are you?”. Generally, they love food and they equate showing love by inviting people to eat.
7. Chinese people love food with a wonderful presentation and always have to have the “umami” taste in their food which they equate with both sweet, salty and flavorful taste which is also present in Japan. Chinese people equate food with good fortune and luck and some food have special meanings.
8. Koreans love spicy food and colorful deserts. This extends to their culture. Their clothes are colorful and their life full of spice.
9. British people love their beer and fish and chips. It shows that they enjoy simple things in life and are generally practical.
10. Halal cuisine is characterized by fresh food that is given much care to prepare. Quality is never to be sacrificed.
Healthy Eating and Enjoyably Eating
Many people think that once you go healthy, you stay away from cakes, chocolates, steak and all that. But that is not true. In order for you to celebrate your food, you must eat a balanced meal. Portion control is the key. Sometimes food becomes bad WHEN WE EAT TOO MUCH. You need to learn to savor your food so that you do not eat too much
1. Try to use a plate with a guide – Personally, you can try a plate with a divider. I have one with three sides. I use the biggest side for my salad, the one of the other ¼ portion for starches and the other for meat and protein. I do eat desert. But when I eat cake, I don’t eat starches with my meal. If I want to eat my pasta, I go for a fruit instead. I avoid drinking soda and coffee (I’m trying to be less anxious recently).
2. Drink lots of water – Water gives life. Drinking three liters of water would help you flush out all the toxins in your body. Your body will be clean and you can avoid headaches, constipation if you drink loads of water. Your skin will even look younger and fresher. Plus you will feel fuller if you drink more water.
3. Eat whatever you want as long as it’s not harmful for you – MODERATION IS THE KEY. You can have french fries, as long as you only eat the small one. After downing that you need to exercise to burn it off. Trying to stay away from everything would make you feel starved. I’m diabetic but as long as count my carbs and it does not go over 30grams a meal, then I can have ice cream or cake. Don’t kill yourself with the food that you eat. Eat the stuff that you life but you have to remember to also eat WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOU.
4. Chew your food – Many people get fat because they don’t know how to properly chew their food. Food is meant to be enjoyed. Allow your mouth to fully feel the texture, the taste and flavor of your meal. Trust me most people who learn to properly chew will not go overweight or not eat too much.
So there it is. I think you get my drift. You can enjoy food so much and not feel guilty about it. Food is the gift of life. You must learn to love it and allow it to nourish you. If you take food properly, it will take care of you too. So go ahead, ENJOY FOO AND ENJOY LIFE!