This special K left home to travel (YIKES!) 20 hours WEST to the warm, friendly California coast to present at a conference. I presented on healthy family habits during the day and over the course of two nights, indulged a few habits of my own.
In my perspective, cultivating community around the dinner table serves as one of the MOST healthy habits of all. I spent time with friends of all varieties while tasting some delicious bites and nourishing myself on the most alluring and soul fulfilling conversations.
When coming back to the USA, the first time in about 18 months, some one warned me that I’d notice “a lot of big people.” One of my presentations on my rotation involves talking about the negative stereotypes of people who are overweight. We judge them as lazy, undisciplined, and morally corrupt for becoming overweight, and thus putting themselves in a position of weak health and truly, social functioning. In my presentation I candidly discuss how I am more concerned about the social health of our American population, now 2/3rds overweight. People who are overweight face more rejection, a sense of shame, and less satisfying personal relationships. And I myself feel frustrated with the “epidemic” both on a cultural level and with people in my personal life who “struggle” with being overweight.
I admit my judgment and sense of wanting to “fix” them. Yet, the systemic forces in our lives (food industry, economics, politics) cannot be denied. I believe that our cultural judgments perpetuates the epidemic, and until we shift our notion of body acceptance, we will continue to fuel unhealthy habits and beliefs.
During one of these trainings a dietician called me out to task and asked if I felt conflicted about writing so much about food and depicting a lot of meals that would be considered “unhealthy.” A good friend and I (another dietician) often travel and eat together. We are both healthy weights, and she and I often discuss how American diet industry has made people feel more body centric and hyper aware of healthy or unhealthy FOODS versus healthy or unhealthy LIFESTYLES, or habits.
My perspective, is that meals are not good or bad. I typically eat out only while traveling, and perhaps this provides a heightened sense of awareness and pleasure. I noticed that after 10 days of being in the states, that the last few meals I ate out I appreciated less for flavor (although still delicious….I loved this Tofu, Quinoa Lemon Salad from Whole Foods I ate one day).
The memory of the experience, the flavor, and conversation, continues to satisfy me. I highly recommend SearSucker for the hip and busy vibe of the locale. The food is not intimate, but carefully selected and created with care.
Multiple chefs had painstakingly followed an exacting plan to create a palate of flavors:
The owner and conceptual guru spoke with us at length about food philosophy, which quickly turned into love philosophy.
“Spreading” the love, indeed, I took home this lovely rose basil peanut spread and a HEART full of thankfullness.
NOW, that is HEALTH. When you taste, receive, share and SPREAD it around. This is not a question of size, or a process of “moderation and balance.” The answer is about being connected, at our very core, and choosing that over isolation and judgment.