For anyone reading who doesn’t know me (or follow me on Instagram), I love food. Not only because I usually can’t go more than three hours without eating (thanks, running!), but because I seriously LOVE food. That’s true now as I live in the food mecca of the US, New York City, and it was true long before I had my five favorite Italian restaurants to choose from.
Quick story: when I was a kid, I was obsessed with grilled cheese and french fries.
That is literally the end of the story. I told you it was quick. It was hands down my favorite meal, and I’m pretty sure I ate it close to daily at a diner near where we lived at the time. I looked forward to it SO much. Looking back, I actually think my five year old self was on to something. Grilled cheese and french fries is still one of my top three comfort meals, so clearly I was wise beyond my years.
Do you remember your favorite food as a kid?
Remember how excited you were when you FINALLY got to have it, whether it was pizza or your favorite ice cream cone? It was literally the best feeling. There’s not a person alive more excited than a kid being handed an ice cream sundae.
When did we stop thinking of food this way?
Probably around the same time we started seeing articles about losing weight, calorie counting, and whatever fad diet is the most popular at the moment. Somewhere along the line, food became the enemy. It’s the thing you have to worry about not eating too much of and the thing that will derail all your health goals. So basically, the joy got sucked right out of that ice cream sundae or grilled cheese sandwich – or anything else for that matter.
Food should still be fun – even if we’re more health conscious as grown people.
You should care more about your health and the nutrients of what you’re eating than you did when you were five. I now know that a human being cannot be sustained on grilled cheese and french fries alone, and luckily I’ve fallen in love with some other meals that make my diet a little more diverse than just carbs and bread – at least most of the time. But why can’t we still look forward to food? We’re not that different than when we were kids. I bet if you had your favorite dessert right now, you’d still be pretty damn excited. So why are we depriving ourselves of that joy?
Eating can still be really, really enjoyable.
Sure, you need to make sure you eat your veggies. You might even substitute a salad for pizza when you just came back from a vacation of eating EVERYTHING you saw. But overall? You should look forward to food as much as possible.
It’s easier to be healthy if food isn’t our enemy.
Find a way to actually enjoy those nutrient rich foods. Offset a day of fruits, veggies, and lean protein with your favorite dessert. If you’ve had a really good day, plan to eat your favorite meal to celebrate. It’s a fine line to walk for sure, because food shouldn’t be earned and you shouldn’t punish yourself for enjoying something that isn’t exactly healthy – but you should absolutely be in a place where you can enjoy what you’re eating. Food is an experience. It’s something that can be shared with friends and family. Food is also a way people express love. And, it’s DELICIOUS.
When was the last time you were excited about what you were eating?
If you can’t remember, it’s been too long. Go out and get something you really love. Make it a habit. Let’s all love food as much as we did when we were kids.