What if we took the time to delightfully feed ourselves?
"You are what you eat". Unless you live in a very remote part of the earth, you’ve read or heard this statement. This quote is actually not new. It’s a mix of "Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es." [Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are] by French epicurian gourmet Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, and "Der Mensch ist, was er ißt." [Man is what he eats]" by German philosopher Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach. Both lived in mid 19th Century. Food has obviously always been a a core concern but it seems that this statement has never been as meaningful as now. Everybody knows there is a link between health and what they put into their body, but don't always know what to do.
So, are we junkies if we eat junk food? Well, it certainly appears that we’re a bit lost. On one hand, processed food has never been so easy to get and is permanently promoted. On the other hand, we are overwhelmed by advertisings for weight loss, detox, and getting fit. We are constantly being told to look good and healthy. The pursuit of the perfect beach body feels more like another obligation and puts a lot of pressure on our already fragile minds. Food has become something that we have to control but not necessarily enjoy. Some magazines even glorify diets and make us feel we have to suffer in order to look good and healthy.
"Fast food" means we consider eating as a waste of time
As our lives are constantly speeding up, the concept of taking the time to cook, sit and eat has become an exception. But what is this food that needs to be detoxified from? Do we need to take an antidote after every meal? Shouldn't we avoid the poison in the first place? Our health is our most precious gift, and if "our food is our medicine" --another famous quote-- why don’t we put more attention into it?
Food is all about love
Parents give attention to their babies through this way. Food is the basics. Food is love. Food should be at the center of our lives. Little by little there is a growing awareness of that concern. All over the world, a bunch of conscious people have begun a slow revolution.
The story of the Slow Food movement
It started during the eighties in Rome, Italy. In reaction to the opening of a McDonald's restaurant on Piazza di Spagna, Italian activist Carlo Petrini started a protest that received a lot of media attention. He then founded the "Slow Food" Movement which is now supported by over one billion people over the world.
In opposition to "Fast Food", Slow Food is all about taking the time to pick the right ingredients, carefully preparing them, and enjoying the beautiful meal in good company. The « good » ingredients have to be tasty of course, but also —and it’s related— produced with a low impact on the earth and on the people. Fair, local, organic, fresh. This fills the stomach and the soul.
As our lives are constantly speeding up, we feel an urge to slow down. How about starting now? Here’s a list of little tips we’ve thought about:
• Love yourself. Cook for yourself. You deserve it. And if you think it's boring, try cooking with a glass of good wine and loud music on.
• If you can't make your own food, know who made it for you. Or buy it at a place where they cook it, not process it.
• Eat in good company. Sympathy and love are a key to enjoying a good meal
• Try to avoid chemicals in your food, wether it’s pesticides or additives
• Satisfy your cravings. Listen to your body and your senses. As long as it is not processed food, the human body can feel what it needs: thirsty? give water. Hungry? Give simple food.
• Eat whole foods, not processed. The less packaged and the fresher, the better. If your Great GandMa would have considered it as food, then it’s probably good for you.
• Get away from refined sugar and sodas. They are enemies of the cells. And highly addictive. It takes about 20 days to fight a sugar addiction. That requires a little bit of courage to get started but the benefits are huge. Freedom!
• Organize dinner parties, at home or at restaurants. Have fun.
• Take time with your children. Shop groceries and cook with them. Kids love to play with what they eat, and it’s the best way to 1/spend time with them 2/teach them basic recipes and the pleasure of real food. You can also take them to farms and harvest your dinner.
• Last but not least, and this is probably the best advice: make exceptions and never feel guilty about it.
And remember: people who love (real) food are always the best people. So take your time, keep calm and eat whatever you want, as long as it is slow!
If you want to know more, you can read the best seller book by Carlo Petrini: "A New Culture for Dining and Living in conversation"
Text by Isabelle - January 2017