Wednesday, 11 January 2012

healthy.

Hola blogfans.  Happy new year!

Have you made any resolutions?  Do they involve expensive gym subscriptions, muchos salad, and the necessary purchase of a grapfruit fork?

So much is made of the importance of being 'healthy', particularly with regards to food, that I think we've lost sight of what it means.  We see food as being 'healthy' or 'unhealthy'.  Fat, sugar - those are bad.  Things that are fat free, vegetables, salad - those are good.  But if we lived on nothing but 'healthy' foods, would that in turn make us really really healthy?

I have spent years struggling with my weight and with an unhealthy, destructive relationship with food.  I have spent a long time mulling over what constitutes healthy.  I'm sharing my philosophy in the hope that some of you can embrace it.

Everything is healthy.  EVERYTHING.  In roughly the correct proportions. There are no bad foods.

Good huh? I shall expound.  Healthy is an attitude.  Healthy is a hearty appetite and the ability to take real pleasure in what you eat, eat enough of it to satisfy you, no more, no less.  Healthy is knowing that our bodies need a certain number of calories, a certain amount of fat, to stay alive and vital.  Healthy is prioritising REAL food, taking pleasure in cooking something delicious from raw ingredients and knowing exactly what you're putting in your mouth.  Healthy is knowing there is a time and a place for a meal made from a jar of sauce, and it's ensuring those time and places are few and sparse.  Healthy is not eating things you don't like, making yourself miserable and hungry, or pumping yourself full of 'fat-free' processed stuff that's packed with sugar and other additives to make it taste remotely like it was supposed to before they took all the fat out.

So resolve to be healthy with me this year.  Embrace food, don't shun it.  Learn to make it sing, learn to love proper, homecooked food that tastes like food is supposed to taste.  Find a balance that allows you to eat what you enjoy without demonising or canonising anything.  Stop when you're full.  Learn to cook a new meal every once in a while, push your taste boundaries, enjoy every single meal, every mouthful.  Be friends with your food again.  Have trifle after dinner on a Wednesday just because you fancy it.

Join me.

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