Yesterday my mother text me what she was having for dinner. Osso Bucco with caramelised brussle sprouts, crispy potatoes with a red cabbage salad and a glass of wine. It sounds like a menu at a restaurant but she made it herself.
I’ve written before about how it seems so many people are obsessed with food, but it occurred to me this morning that maybe so many people are so interested in food because they’re always on the lookout for good things to eat.
I suddenly realised that there will be thousands, hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions of people out there who have no issues with food at all. People who eat varied meals in a balance diet because that’s just how they eat. They don’t eat a lot of processed foods because, well there are better and more flavoursome alternatives, and they prefer them more.
And maybe these people are not on a diet at all. They have no issues controlling their weight and in fact hardly ever think about it at all. They’re just get on with living their lives.
That is exactly what I want.
I like food. I like to cook occasionally, but left to my own devices I’d happily subsist on fruit, toast and cheese. I find it so difficult to choose what to eat. If I do cook I almost always cook lean meat, salad with no dressing and maybe a potato baked in it’s jacket with light sour cream. I’ve lived the diet mentality for so long that now when I think of cooking I almost always think in terms of calories and fat content.
But that food doesn’t satisfy me any more. I feel like I’m dieting when I eat it. I feel hungry afterwards. I crave sweets or fried food.
My partner is much more straight forward. He has a physically active job and as far as he’s concerned he needs substantial meals. He doesn’t much like the things I cook so he cooks himself. Big hearty meals that stick to your ribs, usually involving mashed potato.
So that’s what I eat, because he’s made it for me, and well it means I don’t have to choose.
I do get sick of those meals pretty quickly though. But that leads to the agony of choice again. I have real trouble recognising what I’m hungry for.
I would really like to reconnect with the joy of eating. I want to widen my meal options. I want to learn what tastes I like and which ones I don’t. It’s a bit of a stretch but maybe I even want to cook. I certainly want a bigger pool of options when I’m considering what foods to eat.
Perhaps it’s time to get obsessed with food. Without weighing whether this food will add or subtract fat.
I am taking steps. Yesterday I made pea and ham soup. From scratch. I don’t think I’ve ever made a soup before in my life, but it was surprisingly easy. And really tasty. I was quite delighted.
Today I’m making roast pork. Course, I can’t help but worry about the fat content…
Baby steps I guess.