Today two people told me they were feeling a little down. I gave them both the same advice- eat strawberries.
Really! In my mind that is the answer. In fact, I have food based solutions for everything. If it was a rainy day, I’d tell them to eat some lentil soup with some hearty wheat bread and a glass of cold unfiltered apple juice. If you have a cold coming on, drink lots of tea and eat lots of spicy food. If you are tired, have a shot of espresso and some fine chocolate (prefereably with orange in it- orange Pims cookies will do in a pinch), If you are lonely, the obvious solution is a stir-fry (all that chopping will keep you busy) followed by a glass of plum wine.
I think about my meals all day. When I go to sleep, I think about what I am going to have for lunch. When I am in class, I plan out the perfect dinner. I have food that goes with specific activities (buttermilk ranch pretzels for using the computer, motzerella-tomato-basil sandwhiches for going to the park, Chips and salsa and Mountain Dew for company), food that goes with specific weather, certain times of day, and just about every condition you can think of. I own at least ten different kinds of tea, and each tea has a specific set of condition (jasime tea is best for rainy evenings when everything still smells fresh, mint tea is best for hot afternoons with the windows open).
I spend something like fifty to seventy five dollars a week at the grocery store on myself. I caught myself buying a three dollar chocolate bar! I buy really really good food- fine cheese, decent wine, micro-bakery bread, ultra-fresh produce). Keep in mind I am a poor college student. My peers are living off ramen and pizza. Food is probably my biggest expense next to rent.
And don’t even get me started on eating out. Going out to dinner is probably my main way of entertainement. I figure it costs as much as a movie or a concert or an evening of barhopping, but you get fed, too. A night of enjoyment and a meal! Woo-hoo! I try to stick to my rule of only going out to eat once a week (buying a burrito for lunch on campus doesn’t count, but buying a sandwhich downtown does). It’s hard when I live next to some wonderful restraunts. And how can I deny the pull of Indian lunch buffet when I don’t have class until two every day? I am constantly going out with my friends to really nice (we arn’t sticking to student food here) restraunts, and when I go out to a nice place, I usually go for the works (appetizer, dessert, coffee after my meal).
Some of the more memorable times of my life are food related. From a massive feast at a greek restraunt to a quite and exquisite (and erotic) afternoon at a sushi restraunt, I’ve lived through some memorable meals. Perhaps you remember an earlier thread where I mentioned a dream I had where I got tattoos to commemorate such meals- and upon waking it still seemed like a decent idea.
Maybe this stems back to my childhood. Going out to dinner was a standard form of getting together and celebrating. Birthdays, good grades, a visiting relative- all of those merited a good dinner. But at home, our cabinets were often empty. My mom doesn’t eat much, and she could never understand why I needed a meal three times a day. Often I went hungry, and many nights my mom wouldn’t address the issue of dinner at all, and I’d have to “forage” through the empty cabinets for something to eat. These times alway left me feeling increadably deprived. Now that I live on my own, I try to gaurd against that feeling by keeping my cabinets full to bursting, and I get a little anxious when the food supply runs low.
But part of it is simple lust for life. You have to eat every single day. Why not turn that act in to a celebration. I choose and prepare my food with care, and I think that it improves the quality of my life. It doesn’t really cause me any problems- I don’t eat that much quantity wise, I just eat well. I am of average weight, and genrally fairly slender (with exception of my tummy), and although if I ate less I’d probably be skinnier (I have a pretty high motabilizm) it all balances out in the end. I can’t even look at my fat in a bad light. It is evidence of life well lived. It is a sign of energy and nourishment. It means I am not deprived. I am happy and healthy, not skinny and sickly and sad. The cost is a factor, but considering all the things that I don’t spend money on (clothes, CDs, make-up and jewelry) it isn’t that much of a hardship.
So there you have it. I am obsessed with food. Does this make me a foodie (I am hardly a gourmet cook, and I am vegetarian, so I always thought that kind of counted me out of the foodie lable)? Do I have a problem? Is anyone else as obsessed as I am?