Friday, November 26, 2010

health, happiness, food

"if you inhibit the body's pleasure, you provoke disease."

Yesterday I came across this article, The Case Against Health by Richard Klein. It is a fantastic look at food/eating/drinking philosophy, and how the current view of what's "healthy" in our country is actually quite unhealthy. Basically, we are so obsessed with all the numbers and the hype, that we are forgetting to live and be truly happy. People are eating all this stuff from boxes and cans that tout "low-fat" "low-calorie"... depriving themselves of food flavored with natural fats merely because "OMG FAT!! NO!" Yet, we are becoming a more fat and more unhappy country.

"In our time, it has become un-American to be Epicurean, to consider pleasure, even moderately indulged, to be the highest good. An old strain of American Puritanism to which Jefferson was immune, if not allergic, has become the new morality. Dressing itself up in the language of public health, this new morality views the least indulgence in adult pleasure as the sign of a nascent habit on the way to becoming a dangerous compulsion."

"In America, we have become strangely divorced from our bodies, counting calories on every product in the supermarket, watching blood pressure, measuring cholesterol, and sacrificing pleasure out of an excess of caution. These days we eat not for pleasure, but to lower our numbers. Yet we are one of the fattest nations in the world and growing every day more obese."

I celebrated the end of my 20's with this sandwich. Bread, cheese, chocolate. 3 of my favorite things. This was a very happy time for me, and this meal reflected that. I did not feel guilty about eating this sandwich at all. I'm not eating these every day for every meal. Special occasions should have special foods. It is good for you!

"Whenever anyone asked Julia Child to name her guilty pleasures, she responded, "I don't have any guilt." Epicureanism not only absolves us of guilt but says that our guilty pleasures might actually be keeping us healthy—mentally, physically, or both. "

Why do I have this food blog? Simple. Food makes me happy. You don't have to be gluttonous to be have a love affair with food... in fact, gluttony is the opposite of loving food. It is disrespectful to food and to your body. Respecting food, respecting yourself, means letting yourself do/eat what makes you happy. And happy = health. You dig?

Today is the day after Thanksgiving, so this post is also driven by warm thoughts of all the things I am grateful for. I have an AMAZING family and the best friends anyone could ask for. I love spending time with all of them. Sometimes these times revolve around food, sometimes they don't. I do have a special place in my heart for cooking & eating & drinking with my loved ones. Laughter, adventure, hugs, relaxation, venting. All stuff vital for a good life.

Drinking with friends. Fountain of Youth... I'm sure of it.

Neither or the article or I am saying to go out and eat only rich foods. Just don't try so hard to resist them. If you like something, eat it. But moderation is important. It shouldn't be hard. If you can shovel something down mindlessly without feeling full or satisfied, you probably are eating something with tons of preservatives and additives that make it addicting. If, rather you have a few very very pleasurable bites of something so flavorful, rich and gorgeous, you don't need much to keep you smiling all day.

I'm also a big advocate of home-cooking. I truly feel that if you are taking even a little bit of time to cook fresh food for yourself and your family, you are way better off than eating out all the time, even if you stick to the "lite" menu items. Cooking for people is so happy-making, also. Nourishing your loved ones, making them happy. It doesn't have to be a ton of work, either. I mean, it can be simple, or it can be a fun project that takes all day. (or days...)

"In The Physiology of Taste, the 19th-century Epicurean Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin writes: "When we eat, we receive a certain indefinable and peculiar impression of happiness originating in instinctive consciousness. When we eat, too, we repair our losses and prolong our lives." Pleasure may thus be a form of intelligence, an intuitive science as well as an art. "

Have fun with your food! Fun is so very important in health. Yeah, these tater tot tacos are not nutritionally healthful, but they made me immensely happy that one night, and the alternative was a depressing binge of just plain tater tots. Fun, aesthetics, adventure. Don't treat food as your enemy! Also? DANCE! :)

"Socrates believed in dancing every morning. We could do more for public health if the government spent a fraction of what it spends curbing smoking on promoting dancing."

I could ramble on and on about this... but I have some hedonism to attend to. So, In conclusion....


abegail cruz said...

I like your flask. =)

I'm with you. We should love food and making them.

Kelly @ Barbaric Gulp! said...

So happy to have been mentioned in this post. I LOVES YOU, STEPHANIE!

Let's plan a cooking project for December!