Spreading the Love…Eating Out as part of Health

TINY organic spread cups

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.

Delicious Salmon, Grapefruit, avocado Salad

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).

In any sense, I share these photos of lovely dishes shared in San Diego with joy.

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:

Superb! No Mayo Crab Cakes, with Caviar.

 The meal at Spread, in contrast, felt more akin to my nature and tastes. Highly flavored, singular ingredients, made my one master chef with veggies grown from the garden.

The owner and conceptual guru spoke with us at length about food philosophy, which quickly turned into love philosophy.

Cheese is Love…especially locally made cheese

“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.


2 thoughts on “Spreading the Love…Eating Out as part of Health

  1. I love it. Those meals look delicious and I, like you, believe there’s a lot to be said about living a healthy lifestyle and not just focusing on eating healthy foods. You have so many topics in this post that I want to think about more in depth. Social health, physical health, connection vs. isolation & judgement…very nice! Thanks for sharing!!

  2. I couldn’t agree more. There is a huge difference between thoughtful eating and shoving a cheeseburger down your throat while driving. There are not “good and bad foods,” only foods that should be chosen more often. 😉 I think many people in the US don’t have the time or energy to think through some of the products offered on grocery store shelves-a lot of food companies have tricked America into thinking that these products should be considered food and even healthy food when they are completely manufactured and over processed. If only we took more time to eat and enjoy!

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