Making Food Changes Relationship to Food
I am surprised as I walk out the door this morning. The snow has melted and the world looks bare without its white cover. A lone bird is singing away, fooled into thinking spring is coming. This warm day in the middle of winter opens windows of possibilities in my mind and before too long, I am thinking about food again.
Most of my life has revolved around food: buying it, growing it, making it, serving it, selling it, eating it. It is a human need for our survival. If we care about our bodies, a good place to start the year is becoming familiar with what we put in them. The challenge is taking the time to plan and make my own food. Or, at least, making sure that what I buy falls into the healthy category. So far this year, I have yet to go out to eat. When I do have a craving, I take it as a challenge. I look for recipes and choose to make it myself. It might be the harder way out but definitely the more healthy. Each step of the way, I see what ingredients go in and I control the quality.
Last year, I learned how to make Bourbon burgers, crab cakes and smashed potatoes. This year, some Asian dishes are on my list along with some new breads.
So how do I do it? First, I regularly peruse food magazines and cookbooks. I search for recipes that look good to me, are nutritious and are not too complicated. If I want to make them, I have more incentive. Then, I start my lists: a list of the menus for the week, a grocery list for items that aren’t in my pantry, a to do list that breaks down the steps and when to work them in. Even with bread, I can find a time slot to mix, rise and bake that works in my schedule.
I choose grocery items that are organic and the least processed possible. I make sure to include a lot of vegetables. I try to buy as much as I can from local known sources like the Farmers’ Market. And then, I get to work. I work in a few minutes, here and there, as I can, to get to the end product. And I am always happy with the result because I know I made it and it tastes so good and I didn’t have to pay someone else to make it for me. When I do go out to eat, I usually splurge and order a dish I wouldn't make at home and I choose restaurants that cook as carefully as I do. Sometimes it’s also nice to have a break from the kitchen!
In this process of eating consciously, I find more than physical nourishment: I feel full when I’m done eating because I am thinking about what goes into the recipe and I am happy about making it myself. If I am in a hurry, I just shovel food in without thinking and I don’t care about goodness or flavor. But it is my body and it matters. And in the long run, it will make a difference in the quality of my life. So make a difference in your life and take on the challenge. This could be the year of eating your own food, and enjoying your own cooking. Add a little love and joy or music as you cook in your kitchen and it will change your relationship to food.
This past week, I made a lunch tortilla that didn’t take too much time. I used tortillas, organic black beans, organic sweet potatoes, lime juice, good cheese and homemade salsa with a few additional spices. It was so fresh and so good. Maybe because I put it together or maybe just because it was simple and flavorful and real.
It sometimes is a challenge to fit it in but I am always rewarded. Here’s to a new 2018 food pattern!