When someone offers me a chocolate chip cookie, I am not very likely to take it. Why? Because nothing in me wants it: not my taste buds, not my food-loving heart and not my body that wants to be nourished. However, that does not mean I don’t enjoy sweet treats. Quite the opposite, actually. If you follow this blog even in the slightest, you’ll know that I LOVE baked goodies, such as cinnamon hazelnut cookies with ganache, chocolate orange & rooibos brownies, dried fig and amaranth cookies, my favourite date & chocolate squares, a gorgeous chocolate, pear & ginger loaf or these chestnut, chocolate and pecan cookies. The difference? My type of food is healthy and unprocessed, with the point of not only tasting delicious but also fueling our bodies with the energy they require to function in the best way possible.
Would you like to see some footage? Your wish is my command.
Now THAT’S the stuff I’m really into!
The topic I want to tackle in this post is to find a balance with what we eat, how we eat and becoming aware of our individual food choices. If you do feel tempted by that chocolate chip cookie, have it. Enjoy it. Close your eyes and allow that chocolate to melt on your tongue. And then, sense whether that cookie truly satisfied your sweet tooth. Observe whether you find yourself munching the third or forth cookie without really noticing the flavour or texture of that chocolate chip cookie. I believe that if we eat mindlessly, we are not at all aware of what we eat or how much we eat. We simply consume, we do not pay close attention to what enters our systems neither do we notice when our need for food is satisfied.
What do you allow into your body?
I do not want to consume certain products and to me, that’s fine. I don’t always want to feel the need to justify my behaviour in front of others, yet in the past I have felt pressured to do so. When I put my sprouted mungbeans on a slice of rye bread, I do get odd looks sometimes. People with different food habits even made fun of what I eat at times, which I think comes from the foreign, unknown territory those mungbeans force them into. Food plays a role in everyone’s life and in our part of the world where we have food in abundance, where we are fortunate enough to choose where we buy and what we buy, food becomes a statement. Everyone has their own preferences, their own take on food and eating habits. We express our beliefs through it, our culture, our upbringing, our values. Our like and dislike. Through choosing what we eat, we make a point and oftentimes pick a side by applying labels. Vegetarian, flexitarian, pescetarian, vegan, omnivore, meat-lover, paleo, low-carb, keto, you name it. This mirrors other people’s behaviours as it gives room for comparison. Comparison is what our egos crave; are we good enough? Are we committed enough? Are we as much in control as someone else appears to be? By choosing not to consume a product while others next to you do eat it, they will feel questioned in their decision. They might feel observed and judged. Their egos will defend themselves and make yours feel insufficient. If you can see through this, if you can observe what is actually happening here, you won’t feel pressured or degraded, you won’t take it personally. However, all of us step into this muddy puddle where our egos fog our mind in such a way that we cannot stay aware and present but get lost in feeling attacked, feeling misunderstood, seeking defense and protecting our image, our ego and in this context, our food choices.
What does your mind want and what does your body need?
I suggest that we all take a closer look at what we value not only in ourselves, our behaviours, actions and mindsets, but also in our food choices. Why do we eat what we eat? Are we making informed decisions? Are we okay with eating differently, potentially being eyed with suspicion yet living a healthier life? Can we see through judgement and criticism and take it as an opportunity to educate other people about different approaches to food?
All the recipes I share on this blog, all the food I prepare at home and for friends, I really truly with all of my heart LOVE TO EAT. These are the foods that thrill me, that make me go to the market with much anticipation and make me drool. These are foods that satisfy me and nourish my body. There is nothing I deny myself which seems to startle burger-pizza-icecream lovers. They simply don’t believe me when I say that I am not even tempted by these foods. And believe me, I would much rather make my own sweet potato & pear salad with walnut & honey roasted goats cheese, an improvised tortilla pizza with all the toppings in this world or a beautiful turmeric & cauliflower soup with roasted cashews! MUCH RATHER, now that I reread that sentence. Yum!
For me, my system works. I am not forbidding myself any foods that I enjoy. I can dig in, I never get bored with the meals I prepare but am rather overwhelmed with how many different dishes I’m yet to try out (it’s a long long long list). The varieties of ingredients, all kinds of grains, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds excite me.
What excites you?