The thoughts expressed in this article are in no way an advising on personal health, this is simply a muddled compilation of observations accumulated through experience and this is my blog so if you don’t like it….well it’s my blog….
Have you ever been watching a cooking show and just thought, seriously, are they serious right now? I mean, sometimes the language used to make the methods seem so relevant and chic are really a bit much. I’m going to let you in on a secret here, most of actual cooking food that people truly enjoy is so open to your own creative interpretation, it’s not even funny….as long as you stick to a couple of guidelines. It’s not like black pepper vs. white pepper actually makes a huge deal to the average husband eating his wife’s cooking on a Tuesday evening. Most of cooking delicious delectable food plays on our human and chemical makeup and food addictions.
I know, this is may come across a bit fed-up, but I really do not mean to. So many people feel like they “can’t cook” because a lot of people on television who supposedly know what they’re doing make small issues big ones. “It really does make a huge difference the age of the cheese,” really? Because your talking to someone who on a blind test probably couldn’t tell the difference, truth be told. I would hope that my blog could show people how to keep healthy eating simple and break the common food addictions that I have struggled with my whole life. Don’t overthink it. You don’t have to stay faithful to my EXACT recipe. That’s why so often I say “get creative,” if you like more cumin, add it. If you LOOOOOVE garlic, toss in another clove. Make it YOU. Cooking is an expression of love. Love has just been cooked up for us, in the past, with a little too much white flour and sugar.
If I were to take you to my mom’s house and tell my mom, “Mom, this is my best friend in the whole world,” do you know what would happen? She would feed you so much food, you’d leave there looking like a version of the little girl on Willie Wonka who ate the gum and turned into a giant blueberry. Why? Because to my mom, she couldn’t give you much, but she could cook you a good comforting meal and try to help you enjoy yourself in one of the best ways she knew how. Because I loved you, she would love you too, through food. It is her creative expression of love. Some of the recipes she would cook were simple, uncomplicated, and full of the ingredients that play on our basic addictions and mental aptitudes.
We, as a general rule as human beings (but especially in the United States fast paced society), grow up eating a lot of addictive foods. With so many artificial ingredients, our taste-buds are just too stimulated to settle for truly natural foods. We end up eating a high carbohydrate and sugar diet, shunning fat as some sort of enemy and as a result we become addicted to sugars as a source of energy. It plays into how we chose what we feed our friends that culinary we want to impress, because if I served my friends a certain meal with a certain combination of macro-nutrients, I could GUARANTEE that each person would deem it the BEST meal they’ve ever had and ask for the recipe. Bold claim eh? It really is a simple formula and as a means to impress my guests, generally I plan my menu to play on those basic addictions. How does this traditional homemade meal sound to you?
Roast (if you don’t like beef, sub fried chicken here) with carrots, peas and gravy made from the broth of the beef
Home made yeast rolls.
Creamy mashed potatoes
Apple Pie with homemade whipped cream
Most traditional Americans would say that that is actually quite an attractive meal (INCLUDING ME!!). In fact, replace the apple, with peach pie and this has the potential to be my favorite meal. It has all the basic comfort elements that I’ve been talking about. Roast is generally a very flavorful and tender fatty meat, Fat being the macro here that your body LOVES, but this is not the offender. The offenders are carrots: root vegetable, among one of the highest in starch and sugars, therefore attractive because we feel like because we are eating carrots that somehow we are making up for the other things we are doing to our bodies. Peas: if you were on 21-day fix you’d find that peas are not actually a traditional green veggie, but actually classified as a starch for their high carb content. Rolls, generally made of nothing but white flour (Carb), sugar, and yeast and salt. The perfect mixture of addictive ingredients making them wildly irresistible. Creamy mashed potatoes, starch, carb, butter, cream, salt and pepper. Do you see a pattern here?
The only item on the above meal that does not include any of the offenders is the beef. But wait, unless you roasted grass-fed beef, most cattle that are even “vegetarian fed” are eating corn or some sort of wheat, but mostly corn. Therefore, the very composition in and of itself feeds the same addiction.
This is not a bashing of the Standard American Diet (SAD), it’s simple an analysis of the fact that if you are not out to change the world, but rather, to simply impress your friends, you don’t have to quibble over which pepper to use or whether the sauce needs a balancing component, simply feed them their addictions. It’s sad, but it’s true. It’s not complicated, it’s science.
If you are out to change the world’s mentality on health, you start with breaking addictions in your own home and educating yourself on what healthy MEANS. To me healthy means living long and with a vitality enough to run a 5k with my granddaughter. I don’t want to watch my kids grow up and WATCH them play. I want to play with them. I don’t want to feed them junk that plays on addictions that I HELPED CREATE, I want to make food about nourishment and fuel for an active life! Rant over, done. End.