I’ve given up on the “food is the fountain of youth” way of thinking. I’m not interested in clean-vegan-vegetarian-traditional-foods-low-fat-low-carb-paleo-healthy-if-you-ate-the-right-things-you-would-never-be-sick eating.
I’m going to cook my vegetables. I will not buy into the raw is better, salads are preferable, meanwhile the produce is languishing in the crisper drawer freak out. I’ll blanch my greens, roast my roots, and otherwise apply heat in such a way that renders a tasty end product. I’m putting butter, salt, and pepper on mine because I like it that way. Don’t talk to me about bioavailable, fat-soluable anything. It’s my kitchen, not a lab.
I am not going to hide vegetables in baked goods, sprinkle flax seeds (or chia seeds or wheat germ or whatever sprinkle-able ingredient is currently all the rage) on everything, or otherwise try to pack “healthy” supplements into everything I make. This sort of thinking is how we end up eating sawdust for its high fiber content.
I want to eat kale because I like kale (which I do), not because it’s the new superfood meant to turn you into that waif of an ideal that magically means you’ll never, ever, for one second have to worry about cancer, heart attack, or death. I want to have my kale with olive oil or bacon or butter or sesame oil or copious amounts of garlic because I enjoy it. Period.
I’m going to eat jasmine rice with nary a thought about where it falls on the glycemic index. I’ve had enough flavorless bowls of rice to last me a lifetime, thank-you-very-much. If I eat brown rice, it’s because the dish calls for it or the whim hits me and I’m not going to engage in the sort of high stakes, guilt-piling math that goes along with our culture’s food as medicine rubric.
I will not eat whole wheat pasta because every single box I buy smells like the wheat has gone rancid and that’s neither tasty nor healthy.
I will eat dessert on occasion because good dessert makes me smile. I am not going to feel guilty, mentally flagellate myself, or otherwise engage in any of the usual penance driven activities. I’ll mostly skip the cheap stuff except the soft serve cones with my family in the summer because the kids get a kick out of that and it’s as much a part of summer as warm weather and sweet corn.
I am not going to obsess over every little thing I eat and record it all carefully in notebooks or spreadsheets or online tracking programs. Dinner time is not supposed to require a secretary.
Why? Because we’ve been obsessing over this sort of thing for DECADES and it hasn’t exactly been a success. Meanwhile, other cultures sit down, share a meal together, and somehow manage to stave off the dietary apocalypse.
Yes, dear food bloggers, it is January and I know those “clean” eating plans and ideas look so bright and shiny in the limited light of a winter’s day, but seriously? How about we all (collectively) stop buying into the foolishness. Life’s too darn short to spend it obsessing over food. You have to eat every day of your life – it’s a biological necessity – why not enjoy it along the way?