This I Believe

Christen - Fairfield, Iowa
Entered on July 28, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

Food Glorious Food

I believe in enjoying my food.

Enjoying meals does not have to mean gobbling white truffle ravioli and almond pastries, but only requires attention to the process of dining. I do not think about my meal’s properties and nutritional values while eating; instead, as I chew I notice the bliss that it produces. This simple process creates a feast of delicious effects.

Salad: Olive oil-slicked lettuce leaves, cold asparagus, festive curls of parmesan, sharp lemon and chives soothed by avocado slices. Cloudy green, forceful green, newborn green, swirling sea-foam green. Mildly bitter, sour, salty, astringent and sweet: the tastes are humble, reticent; they let the textures take the lead. Its lettuce is delicate as moth wings, red-tinted with minerals, big ruffled sleeves on an otherwise restrained outfit, crinkled as wrapping paper the morning after your birthday.

When I savor my fare’s flavors, my desires automatically harmonize with those of my body. I naturally eat the correct amount. I become so in love with feeling delectation that I couldn’t possibly mar my pleasure by over- or under-eating. Applying attention to tasting also causes me to chew my bites thoroughly, improving my digestion.

Conversely, foul relationships with food can actually cause health problems. I have seen too many people worry about the effects of food on their bodies, turning meals into a stressful experience. This inhibits their ability to digest, making all their worries manifest.

Sugar Snap Peas: Jaunty little elf hats secure seven sleeping peas. Tidy English green, their natural sugars saturate me with spring’s optimism. Peas jump out to surprise me like children from their forts, winking as they pop against my taste buds. Saccharine in their freshness, they are the school fieldtrip of the produce section.

Eating for bliss is not just important for mealtime, but for my entire day. If my menu is not appetizing, I can’t help spending part of my day unwillingly daydreaming about what I’d really like to munch. This wastes time and attention that could otherwise be spent productively.

When I set aside a portion of my day for self-referral bliss, I am able to maintain that bliss throughout the day. I become aware of my own inner felicity, and it sticks with me. This simple, necessary function of eating has become my time of day that is set aside to visit heaven.

Roasted Butternut Squash: summer has continued to bloom within the pale November vegetable. Most auspicious of squashes, buttered marigold velvet, jubilant as a Hindu festival. A pillow of jolly sweetness, my heart swells with warmth and merry wealth. Small and simple, rounded and abundant, I am the lucky one who swallowed the setting sun.