I’ve been thinking about food a bit lately. Why? I don’t know, sometimes ideas simmer for a while, putting themselves together in your mind, and then when they’re ready, they pop into your consciousness, seeming to come out of nowhere.
I have to eat every day (This should not be a surprise. I assume this is universal, yes?), but cooking and shopping for food and planning for it is always such a burden. Sometimes, I eat something (borderline healthy) just to get the hunger over with so I can move on to more important things, you know, like browsing the web. I knew a single mom who made sure her daughter ate well, and then put a bunch of vegetables in a blender for herself because she was too tired. It’s a similar mentality – just get it over with – but it’s something that I would like to change, for the simple reason that since this is something that has to be done daily (I am referring to cooking and eating) – as in every.single.day – there is no reason why is has to be perceived as a burden.
Whenever I hear the word “holistic,” I think about thinking of the body as a whole organism, and not a series of individual symptoms. Like a nagging pain in your foot may be caused by damaged nerve endings in your back, or it might be the result of psychological pain. You do not just look at your foot when you have foot pain, you look at your entire body and psyche.
How does this apply to food? Well…you have to stretch a little. In relation to food, instead of seeing eating simply as a day to day activity, I can see it as an extension of a larger philosophy and build from there.
What a philosophy can provide is structure to your thought process, a form of internal guidelines that you can use to order meals – it guides what cookbooks to buy, what recipes to try, what part of the grocery store to hang around, where you even want to buy your food. The point is to narrow your focus instead of seeing your food options as an all you can eat buffet. I can’t really speak to other people’s philosophies – I am only one person, but here is some food for thought:
- Forks over Knives: a documentary that follows medical doctors that heal their patients by switching them to plant based diets.
- The China Study: an in depth study – that, yes, takes place in China because they have a large enough population to study – that makes a connection between what we eat and what afflicts us: namely heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc.. I haven’t read it. It’s a tad long. I read this cheat sheet instead.
- My own thoughts: I’m not against flavor and food that tastes amaaaaazing, but I’d rather save that particular good time for a restaurant, not for everyday meals. It leads to less salt, less sugar intake. I will be the first to admit, this is great in theory and sucks in practice, especially the sugar part. I struggle with the sugar part. Especially foods that start with twix.
Secondly, how to apply the philosophy? Putting theory into practice is always the hard part. Again, it’s hard to think holistically. You have to plan. You have to shop for the week. You have to plan the weeks meals and then shop accordingly. My own thoughts on the matter are basically to keep things simple whenever possible (Can you smell a theme here?).
- Really, really simple: It’s like decorating a room, or an episode of iron chef – pick a hearty seasonal core ingredient for the week and find recipes around it. For example: avocado during summer, squash during winter, etc.
- Professional subscription simple: Try The Fresh 20, which provides weekly recipes based on buying 20 ingredients a week. Time spent trolling the web for recipes is time wasted.
- Alternate meal plan subscription: The veggiemealmaker.
- You have to plan for the worst. There will be days I fall off the wagon, and I’ve been watching infomercials, so I’m going to invest in a nutri-bullet. You never know man, you never know.
- There’s also a China Study Cookbook. I’ll probably take a look at that as well.