Saturday, February 2, 2013

les mystères de nourriture

i am an initiate into the mysteries of food.  i eat like a child most of the time.  i cook simple, quick meals, whatever doesn't take a lot of preparation.  it's difficult for me to consider the different aspects of nutrition that i lay out of myself: what minerals match with what proteins pair with antioxidants and does this contain omega-3 fatty acids?  even when i was more committed to the paleo diet a couple months ago (which i need to get into now that the holidays have long concluded,) i had not trained myself to be much aware fo the subtleties and complexities of my diet.  chicken breast, steamed broccoli, maybe some fruit or sweet potato if i'm super hungry.  this is the sort of simplicity i maintain.

at new seasons last night, the gentleman in front of me in line at the register bought bulk flax seed and some other grain or legume; a plethora of greens; some vegetables; yogurt; milk; eggs; and some hummus.  i stood behind him with kale, a block of cheddar cheese, dietary supplements, and a bottle of wine.  my diet really isn't as pathetic as this itemization suggests - i'd just gone to the grocery store a few days prior and really just wanted a bottle of wine as i was biking home from work.  but even if i maintain a relatively healthy diet, the ritual and rites of food science and diet remains occult to me.  what more should i be eating? should i count out 7 or 8 almonds?  which supplements should i be taking?  why do i weigh so little compared to every other man on the planet?

part of the problem consists of how complex and inconsistent food science can be.  our bodies don't absorb and process nutrients in single file - they are digested together in the rock tumbler of our gastro-intestinal tracks.  another problem lays in my laziness.  after i bike home from work, i'm tired (sometimes inebriated) and i don't want to make a big fuss, a great meal.  i want to quickly find myself some nourishment and watch tv or read, clean the dishes, relax, sleep.  finally, sometimes i just want to enjoy a meal and not constantly analyze the physical benefits of various components of any particular meal.

i also realize that if i set certain goals or my health and my physique, this dietary divination becomes necessary to master.  i need to learn more, know more, become more vigilant.  i need to cook more and gain experience in the kitchen.  i need to consume more omega-3 fatty acids, to consume more protein probably, to eat more in general perhaps.


Tyler said...

My naturopath prescribed "learning to cook" as part of my treatment for anxiety and time management. I love it, and I eat a lot of great, whole foods. I do not, however, spend a great deal of time over-analyzing what I eat. I eat vegetables every day, and proteins, and carbohydrates, all without really thinking about it. Food is almost sacred, I think, and people who cram themselves with health food constantly are probably going to be hit by a bus tomorrow and die anyway. Manage your weight, eat your vegetables, keep an eye on blood pressure and cholesterol - but besides that, I think you should eat good, whole foods that you enjoy. A salad is not dinner, it is cold and wet and lifeless and belongs at a lunch on a hot day. What am I trying to say here? Yes, you should cook more meals, but no, you don't need to fill yourself with bizarre "health" foods that are probably decimating a rainforest somewhere anyway.

little christopher said...

tyler, i missed your comment before. you're so right. these health food fascinations are bizarre. and unhealthy. it really is about whole foods, consciousness about food. and eating more than salad, though i will admit that i really like salad. i will also admit there are definitely more exciting and healthier meals than salad.

anyway, your perspective on cooking and eating seems super levelheaded and healthy.