With every bite of food or sip of beverage that we put in our mouths, we should be considering whether or not it serves us in some way.
The most obvious consideration is taste… because if it doesn’t taste good, who wants to eat it? Certainly not me! I consider the enjoyment of food (which primarily comes from its taste and smell) to be one of the primary ways that food serves me. In fact, the only times I eat something that doesn’t taste good to me is when I’m learning to like a new food or I’ve cooked dinner and it didn’t turn out as good as I would have liked. (I try not to talk about the latter very much!)
After the taste, we have to consider whether or not the food is serving our bodies nutritionally. This is what separates people who love to eat from people who love food. Loving food means that what happens after you swallow is as important to you as the pleasure received when smelling, tasting and chewing food.
You show this kind of food love when you…
- Read the ingredients list on food labels so you know what’s going in your body,
- Take the time to plan, shop for and cook a wholesome dinner,
- Try a nutrition-packed food for the first time,
- Choose to forgo really good cheese because you are sensitive to dairy,
- Tell your kids that fruit is dessert,
- Plan your meals so you get each of the colors of the rainbow, and
- Think about how you can improve your diet for optimum health.
Fortunately, you don’t have to choose between taste and nutrition… you just have to consider both and then choose wisely.
I have made it my personal life’s work to find delicious food that just so happens to also be nutritious… or at the very least not horrible for me (like these donuts). Of course, it took a while to develop my palate (have I mentioned that I loved Lucky Charms for breakfast all the way through college?). But since learning to like a wide variety of foods, I find that I can feed my body and my taste buds with almost every bite, even when I’m doing a cleanse! (If you want more proof, follow me on Instagram where I post a lot about what I’m eating.)
As well, even though Julia Child’s quote doesn’t mention it, there are other ways that food serves us. I sincerely believe that sharing food with people we love feeds our hearts. I also know that food can give us an emotional boost (trust me, I’ve reached for chocolate as an emotional soother before). Serving us emotionally and socially are important roles of food also.
The ultimate meal is one that serves us emotionally, mentally, physically and sensorially all at the same time. However, it’s not realistic for that to happen every time we eat.
So before you take your next bite of food, ask yourself, “What do I intend to gain from eating this?” By answering that question you will ensure that the food is serving you in at least one way and be able to savor it all the more as a result of that awareness.