There’s a sweet spot for me, the energetic intersection of my writing, cooking and teaching passions, that will take a more fully developed and more fully focused shape from this point on.
I’d like to first begin by asking you to recall a food memory, a simple event perhaps, one that caused you to think about food quality, food choices and your overall experience of eating in a different way. When did what you eat and the food’s source become important enough for you to re-examine your diet, to refine restaurant choices, to manage your daily diet to avoid processed or fast food?
Perhaps, it was an uncomplicated, quiet moment of awareness where your body informed you about the goodness or the detriment of a food choice. Perhaps it was a more dramatic event like a minor (or major) health issue. Any such event could have caused you to realize you could significantly impact your own health by either removing something from your diet or substituting a whole, authentic product for an artificial one. Maybe your pledge in such a moment was to make small, thoughtful food choices each time you were presented with the opportunity to choose… basically an elevated awareness.
Immediately upon ingesting a food item, the body informs us, in easily recognizable ways, how and whether the food choice benefits or detrimentally charges the system. Do you feel an adrenalin rush, an acceleration basically, of the system when you eat carbohydrates or sugar? Do you notice that ingesting sugar impacts your digestion? Does it super-charge your appetite? Can you notice other physical effects in the body’s systems, such as a sluggishness or dullness after the body races in reaction? Do you feel sleepy, groggy or depressed when the charge clears your system?
We have the extraordinary gift in this country of not only infinite food choices, but access to unlimited and deeply researched information about food quality and the health effects of those choices. No other society has ever had these informed choices. This seems like an obvious statement because we’re so inundated with (and largely de-sensitized by) the marketing of food producers and because of the wide availability of convenience foods. Paying even slightly elevated attention to what we eat allows us to receive feedback from the body in ways we all can recognize.
Conduct your own experiment. No one else has to know. Simply be aware of how or if your body reacts to the foods you eat. Do you feel the body racing after eating a plate of pasta? Do you notice the lack of that racing feeling when a protein is eaten with the pasta, and the quantity is cut in half? Does the body digest certain kinds of proteins (fish, chicken) more easily than heavier proteins (beef, pork)? How does the body feel when protein of any kind is eliminated from the diet? The body is in a constant feedback loop sending information in easily recognized ways.
So, for me, the intersection of writing, cooking and teaching has new practical and metaphoric meanings. Let’s peel back the layers of that amazing resource of sustenance we have unlimited access to, and look at how each of us can improve our own health and well-being while increasing the radius of those whose lives we have the ability impact.
I’d love your thoughts.