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Tuesday, February 15, 2005

 

Food, glorious food

This morning I ate organic blue corn flakes with organic skim milk. I also put organic skim milk in my organic coffee. I am more and more conscious of my food choices. As a teenager it was all about counting grams of fat. In college I let some fat back in, and was vigorous about eating a balanced diet and hitting the gym three times a week. After college - and as a newlywed - I packed on 20 pounds thanks to food-lover feasts with my husband and an aversion to spending my limited free time at the gym. A couple of years back, Weight Watchers saved the day - off came the 20 pounds, and back to the gym I went. I loved that Weight Watchers worked, but I hated that it reduced food to points - I liked to think of food in terms of nutritive value and taste.

I still care about those things, but lately my food choices are increasingly driven by ethics. I've always said I liked to eat like a vegetarian even though I'm not one, and this is increasingly the case. If I eat meat too many days in a week, I just don't feel right. We only buy free-range chicken. I buy organic whenever possible, and love to support local farmers. I've also developed a love of cooking over the past few years, which I think is tied to my increasing awareness of the ingredients I choose. (I read a book called The Mindful Chef that I highly recommend.)

Sometimes I think it's a yuppie obsession, this concern for the origins of your food - but if it is, I'm past the point of no return. Goodbye, elliptical trainer; goodbye, mass-produced chicken. I'm a yoga-practicing, dog-walking, gym-avoiding, organic-food-eating almost-vegetarian with a daily chocolate habit. I believe food is a spiritual and sensual thing. Call me a yuppie, call me a hippie, but I think I've finally found a relationship with food that I can feel good about.

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