Food, isn’t it wonderful? It is inextricably woven into the culture of so many lands, bringing people together in a way unparalleled by any other social activity. So many of my friends and family have fond childhood memories of specific foods eaten with certain people at particular times. You know the sort, the kind of memories that leave us wistfully doe-eyed, implanting a flux capacitor in our brains and time-shifting us to when we would swing our legs as we sat and scoffed with infantile enthusiasm and shamelessness.
It’s never just been fuel for me, I have tried to get that sort of logical, mechanical approach to food but, realistically, my palate has been too spoilt over the years to be contented with basic, nutrition-packed, flavourless “fuel”. On the other hand, I must confess to having abused food, attempting to control it, eventually binging on it, often turning to it at times of solitude, anxiety, depression or boredom, eating until I felt physically uncomfortable and riddled with shame and guilt.
Loving food and loving to eat are two separate things, in my non-professional opinion. At the risk of sounding like a total hippy, to me, loving food is almost romantic, it means making the time to sit down and savour the food I have prepared, choosing quality of ingredients and dishes over value-for-money (i.e. quality over quantity), enjoying a natural balance of food that tastes good in the moment and what makes my body feel good in the long run. Loving to eat, on the other hand, is like a dysfunctional relationship, it is emotionally charged, rushed, sometimes hidden, often done distractedly, and possibly culminating in physical discomfort.
When on holiday, I find it the easiest to return to a peaceful, honourable relationship with food and eating; I’m not overwhelmed by the amount of choice, urgently needing to try everything before it is banned forever. As a result, I often maintain or lose weight on holiday, I’m not boasting, just saying it as it is. The problem is, I get home and get back to daily life and sooner or later something comes up to disturb my restored peace with food again. Almost immediately I get the post-holiday blues as I compare everything in Real Life with Holiday Life, and I inevitably conclude that “It’s always better on holiday, so much better on holiday” to quote the Franz Ferdinand song.
With all this in mind, and having just returned from a trip to France at the time of writing this page, I’m determined to live a life of eating mindfully but deliciously. No doubt I will have bouts of trying to control food and abusing food, but I’m glad to say that since researching intuitive and mindful eating those swings are happening less often. When I eat food like I love it I don’t stress about it or my body weight so much, and I have mind space to enjoy living life. When I eat food like it’s going out of style, I get crazy around it, obsessive and generally become a highly strung, self-deprecating, self-hating, nut-bag. And that’s no fun for anyone.
On this blog you can expect to find tried and tested recipes as well as wordy reviews of places where I’ve had mind-blowing eating experiences (if you find dramatic descriptions of life-altering meals irksome, I’m sorry not sorry). If you see me getting carried away with calories and diet trends, feel free to point it out, I’m an impressionable fool sometimes I’m afraid! Overall, I hope you enjoy my foodie adventures and feel free to share yours with me too, I’m always up for some inspiration to cook, eat and live deliciously.