Monday, July 13, 2009

why eat?

The obvious answer is hunger... duh ;) but there are and can be many other reasons. When figuring out what to eat I first ask myself what I feel like or what I'm craving. I've never been one to replace meals with sweets and, at this point in my life, I've studied enough nutrition and have eaten healthfully for a while, that I hardly ever have to worry about it being something "bad" for me.
Tonight it was eggs. I haven't had eggs since my trip to Istanbul, Turkey because, (even though I doubt it was the soft-boiled eggs I ate at the hotel every morning that got me sick,) the Turkish tummy trouble have made eggs anything but appetizing. Today, however, they made a delicious re-introduction back into my diet. Next on the menu, I consider the nutritients factor, as I try to come up with healthy accompaniments to my food of choice. Usually I opt for vegetables that I haven't eaten yet that day to ensure that I get the complete spectrum of vitamins and minerals that those yummy plant foods offer. Last night there was nothing I wanted more than some goat cheese, which, let's admit, goes well with everything :) so it was divine over mixed steamed vegetables and salad. I also consider food-combining, whether it's a focus of starch or protein, as a result of my interest in raw foodism (you can read more about it over at Gena's if you'd like) a step for which my digestion is certainly thankful.
Next, before sitting down, I check in once more with my body to ensure that what I'm feeling is actually hunger. I've never mentioned it before but I dealt with quite a few unhealthy eating habits while abroad. At the beginning of my journey, (in Chile especially,) my obsession with eating well paired with a longing for the comforts of home led to bouts of overeating and stomach-aches and eventually weight gain.

Yet finally, and thankfully, I realized that what I love about eating is the pleasure it brings. A concept that I truly believe the French understand best. For the most part I'm perfectly happy, if not excited, about having a plate teeming with vegetables, but certain occasions call for something extra. These small indulgences, like the incredible homemade 21st birthday dessert I ate last week: an Irish cake made with a chocolate Guinness batter, Jameson whisky chocolate ganache, and topped with Bailey's butter cream frosting are so worth it and makes eating not just something I do, but something I love, in any country.

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