Food Can Bring to Life…..My Keen Anticipation…even when you’re eating healthier
“Food can bring to life my keen anticipation. It can evoke my memory in all its pain and joy. It can pierce me with nostalgia. It’s preparation can be an act of relatedness, of self-fulfillment, of creativity and love. It’s eating can be participation and communion…Let us also hope it nourishes me physically, supplying me with proteins, carbohydrates, and other nutrients I need to stay alive and healthy so that I can experience the fullness of human existence.”
~ René Dubos, Humanistic Biologist
This quote has stayed with me since I was in college (a little more than a few years ago). It captures the depth of feeling we have around food and it’s ultimate purpose which is to provide us with the nutrients necessary to be healthy so that we will have the basic energy to reach for our dreams.
We all have memories associated with food, family, holidays….for most of us, we look back with nostalgia at the large family gatherings and the massive amounts of delicious food that was served; the love that went into preparing it and the joy of sharing the food with family and friends.
Some of us feel deprived when we are eating healthier, especially when those Thanksgiving mashed potatoes with lots of butter are not on the menu. However, good food is still to be enjoyed and new flavors like chicken broth can take the place of butter. Eating with awareness can lead to satisfaction with smaller portions.
The joyful memories I have of food overshadow the “sitting at the table till the Rice Krispies or tomato juice were finished” My mom loved to cook and she prepared the most delicious meals ever like marinated beef shish kabobs with red and green peppers, purple onions; bouillabaisse soup with fish, mussels and shrimp that was perfectly seasoned, fresh crispy garlic bread with spaghetti and meatballs (her special recipe) and dinner parties with dishes like chicken filled crepes, large, colorful salads with homemade dressings, and desserts like baked Alaska. I remember many holidays with family sharing traditions like the Passover Seder with traditional foods like the parsley (the bitter herb) dipped into salt water to represent suffering; and FINALLY getting past the seder to the food. It reminds me of the love that went into teaching me these stories.
And now, with nutrition science and guidelines changing all the time, health practitioners are often as confused as the clients….but still: one guideline remains timeless. Eat more vegetables. And eat them organic whenever possible. Why would you ingest cancer-causing chemicals on your food if you didn’t have to? And find a few, delicious recipes that just make your taste buds sing.
So, whether your health goal is to lose weight, lower your blood pressure or blood cholesterol, remember to buy the food with love, prepare it with love and enjoy it with love, knowing that this vibration of love can only lead to better health.
© Copyright 2012 Susan Faith Noss, MS, RD