Six Happy Food Philosophies

March 19, 2014

Yeah, I’m a comfort eater, I’ll be the first to admit that. Look me in the eye and tell me that the combination of butter, sugar and eggs doesn’t make you feel happy?

When I was in my very early teens, I read an article in a magazine about buxom British actress/model/tv presenter Kelly Brook. In the pictures, she was not supremely skinny, but she was very sexy. The lower half of the body almost resembled mine–what Colleen Donaghy (30 Rock) refers to as a “good birthing shape.” I remember nothing about the article except thinking “I wish I looked like that!” and admiring her eating philosophies. She said that she ate whatever she wanted, but just have a little bit of it, and didn’t overindulge.

Who knows how true that is, but I loved it, and it has stuck with me as an aspiration for how I want to live and eat.

Happy Food Philosophy #1:
Eat what you want, but don’t overindulge.

Right now Clay and I are counting calories using My FItness Pal. I like it because I have a tendency to mindlessly overeat, and the app makes me mindful of what (and how much of it) I’m putting in my body. I want to lose a teensy bit of weight, but I generally have zero problems with my body. I am proud of my healthy body image, but know that I don’t exercise enough, and never want to get into the habit of overeating. So My Fitness Pal is a good situation for me.

Happy Food Philosophy #2:
If you’re not enjoying the act of eating, you’re doing life wrong. 

I remember years ago when someone rocked my world by telling me that at various times in the Bible, feasting was used as an act of worship. AMEN. When you take a bite, it should stir your affections for the Creator. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been savoring my meal, praising God for the complexity of flavors, colors, and textures. God could have easily let one tasteless mush sustain us. But instead, we have CHEESE, and VEGETABLES, and MEAT! Hallelujah!

Happy Food Philosophy #3:
No fad diets.

You will never catch me on a fad diet. I enjoy all the food groups and think each of them has various benefits to the human body. Chances are, nobody I know who went Paleo/GF/vegan in the past two years is going to do that for the rest of their lives. I’d rather choose a more long-term, sustainable healthy eating plan. Well-rounded, balanced, and delicious.

This may not be a popular idea with a lot of my peers these days, but I think budget is more important than diet. Sure, I’d love to be able to shop at Whole Foods every week and live on an organic-only and locally grown diet… But that’s just not realistic. I’m a newly wed living on $75 a week for 63 meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner for 3 people for 7 days). If broccoli is on sale at Kroger for $1 for 2 heads… yeah, I’m buying that broccoli. Food philosophy number 4: don’t go into debt over your diet. 

My college boyfriend told me I wasn’t a good cook (granted, I wasn’t–all I could make was pasta, and I didn’t know you can’t cook an egg on high heat). His words killed my confidence for a while. Now, in marriage, I am encouraged in my cooking abilities by my amazing husband who loves me immensely and wants me to be supremely happy. I am growing to love cooking for Clay, and help develop a rounded palate in Stella. I love trying new recipes and enjoy the act of eating a lot more, too.

A couple weeks ago I had a serious urge to watch Julie & Julia. I’ve seen it plenty of times before, but this time was different. I gained a new level of appreciation for both characters, and  really fell in love with Julia Child. Go look up Julia Child quotes on Google. She has some really wonderful things to say! I started to think about my own cooking goals. Should I go to cooking classes? What about some culinary school? How can I learn how to make my own recipes? How can I get better about food photography?

In the movie, there are several scenes of both women cooking and eating really great food.

Happy Food Philosophy #5:
Cook good food.

Learn a few fancy recipes. Try a new food you’ve never eaten before. Get inspired. Don’t. Skip. The. Butter.

This final food philosophy is proving to be a challenge for me to learn… or unlearn, I guess I should say. Growing up, I watched my mom (who, as I have said before, is a truly wonderful cook) be slightly self-deprecating about her cooking abilities. I picked that up, perhaps through my lack of confidence, or just observing the way she was when she sat down at meal times.

“Let me know if the meat is dry.”
“Sorry, the asparagus is overcooked!”
“Well, it’s not bad, but I could have done it better… It’s edible, I guess.”

Happy Food Philosophy #6:
You should never apologize at the table.” 

Straight from Julia Child comes the final food philosophy. It is proving to be a challenge for me to learn… or unlearn, I guess I should say. Growing up, I watched my mom (who, as I have said before, is a truly wonderful cook) be slightly self-deprecating about her cooking abilities. I picked that up, perhaps through my lack of confidence, or just observing the way she was when she sat down at meal times.

“Let me know if the meat is dry.”
“Sorry, the asparagus is overcooked!”
“Well, it’s not bad, but I could have done it better… It’s edible, I guess.”

Clay reminds me of #6 almost daily, and I try to stick with it. The people at my table can have their opinions, but ultimately the most important thing is being in good company.

 

Do these things resonate with you? What philosophies do you have about food?

 

By Kellie

Kellie is a redeemed woman pursuing vulnerability, color, and hygge. She loves to write, take photographs, play, and learn. She's a marketing specialist by day, a blogger at night... and a mom all the time. Kellie lives in Denton, Texas with her husband, Clay, and their young daughters.

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