This is Part III of IV in my Arbitrary Disciplines series.
I have always loved sweets as long as I can remember. I can recall waking up at my Granny’s house when I was 9 or 10 and having a Sun Drop with breakfast. I would sit at my Nana’s long, dark wooden table and watch her scoop vanilla ice cream from the store brand gallon tub. One of my earliest memories of cooking with my mom is making “Hannah’s famous pumpkin bread” with her. Sweets are family are memories are goodness.
Not so right when you feel like shit all the time, turns out. Until I arrived at college, I had never eaten kale. Didn’t have a clue what butternut squash was. And a meal consisted of some meat, white potatoes and bread. I thought there was probably some nutritional value in fried foods because I’d heard vegetable oils are good for your blood.
My world was upended when I got to college and suddenly had to grapple with Swiss chard, vegan nuggets, and – oh, the glorious – hummus. Through my four years at Smith my diet changed dramatically. And honestly, Smith was not a particularly healthy place. We had all-you-can-eat macaroni and cheese right next to those greens. But it was the gradual introduction of new vegetables and a re-training of my taste buds that got me to the point I am now.
So, let’s relate this back to the arbitrary practices we’ve been discussing. Channeling Tina Turner, What’s FOOD got to do, got to do with it? The answer is everything. Your mood, your energy, your outlook, your calm, your weight, your optimism about the future – incredibly, these are all affected by the way you choose to treat your body through the foods you choose to eat.
I’m not here to talk about losing weight or GETTING THE BODY YOU WANT. That’s is not my message 1%. What I am saying is that food is a daily decision we make to interact with the world. And when we choose to slowly, carefully prepare meals from whole foods (fresh vegetables, raw nuts, fruit, etc.) we are engaging with the world in a different way than going into Walmart and buying Velveeta.
This blog is about being conscious of our engagement with the people and the world around us. Food is a huge part of this, considering we spend at least an hour everyday eating. This is 1/24th of your life. If you live to be 80, that’s almost 3.5 years of your life spent eating. Don’t you want to put some thought into such a large portion of your life? In fact, one of the biggest arguments against eating healthy is that there is NO TIME. Really? Why not? What are you doing with your life that is more important? How many hours a day do you spend on Facebook again?
I don’t eat well all the time. You will definitely catch me with a frozen pizza at least once a week. But generally, 70% of my grocery bill every week goes to farmer’s markets and produce. I’m going to talk more about my specific diet choices (recipes included) in a later post. But for now, just think. How am I engaging with the Earth around me with my one and only life?