Friday, 20 June 2008

Can we both enjoy our meals more, and become healthier?

Along the lines of a previous post I've always subscribed t the idea that a balanced life is what leads to a balanced body and mind i.e. one with less disease and problems. On that note I was just having my lunch and I realised I wasn't really paying attention to it. I was too busy reading the magazine on my desk. So even though I'd loving ly prepared it. I was really just wolfing it down without any real interest.

My wife's really shown me how to appreciate food and take my time with it. In doing so I've found that I don't need to each as much food as I used to. It's as though my mind needs to be satiated as well as my belly. By learning to really appreciate my food I'm finding that the real intense hunger I used to have for simple density and amount has been replaced with a desire for quality.

Seriously, to give a quick example something as simple as cake. By using basic boring concepts such as surface area to volume ratio, sorry if you're now feeling sleepy, I realised that rather than having one chunk of cake, I could cut the same amount into say 3 slices. this way I take a little longer to eat the cake and it forces me to savour each mouthful. Then by the end I actually have had enough cake. I could still eat more, don't get me wrong but I'm not desperate for more like I used to be.

I was also put onto this idea when I heard a report that the French don't have the same high cancer and coronary heart disease risk that with the Brits do yet they, given their type of cuisine, eat plenty of saturated fats and dairy products just like us. How do we explain that. Well one reason given is basically their way of life. One specific aspect is their attitude towards food. They absolutely detest rushing their food. they don't like to eat bland tasteless food and would rather have a smaller plate of some thing that tantalises them than eat a large palte of something dull.

I'm obviously generalising quite a lot here but that's the main point than came across. Obviously not all the French population will subscribe to this view but I do believe other cultures value taste and the experience, particularly not rushing it, much more than we do and I also believe that many of these cultures are healthier.

Any way it's food for thought, do you like the pun :-), as a way to adjust your lifestyle towards maintaing or losing weight rather than gaining it yet in a way where you gain something (taste and an experience) and add to your life rather than just taking away from it which is generally how weight loss is promoted.
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