The perfect diet…

…doesn’t exist! Ha-ha! Got you!
But seriously, folks. This is something I’ve sensed is true for some time, and the more I learn, the more I’m sure of it. I like to test that idea by reading about rather divergent nutrition philosophies. Last week, I watched the compelling, vegan-centric “Forks over Knives.” Today, I’m waiting for my copy of Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat to arrive in the mail. About the only thing those two have in common is leafy green vegetables.
Obviously, some people are healthy the vegan way, and others are healthy the low-carb Taubes way. This is why I’m enjoying the balancing effect of reading Nourishing Wisdom. One of the best lines in the book so far is this:
We search for a way to eat that feels “right,” a nutrition that makes the body hum and the soul sing.
Yes! Food should be healthy, nutritious and pleasurable. A middle ground between eating to live and living to eat. Austerity won’t make the soul sing, and gluttony won’t make the body hum. I think there’s danger in having food be too big of a source of pleasure, however. It’s one thing to look forward to a nice dinner after a tough day at work, but relying on food to ease loneliness, boredom, anger or sadness usually leads to an overconsumption of poor-quality food high in sugar, fat and refined carbohydrates. Food should not be a primary satisfier of emotional needs.
Yesterday, I had a teeth cleaning in the morning, followed by a boring day at work. Then, I had an evening of preparing for a boring microbiology lab to look forward to. So, yes, dinner was the highlight of my day. But the making of the meal was a big part of the joy. The gathering of the ingredients. The chopping and measuring and prepping so that the cooking part would go smoothly. The plotting about how to pace the cooking of the different dishes so as to use as few bowls and pans and possible. The smells in the air. And, yes the enjoyment of eating a nutritious, tasty meal with my husband.
We started with some roasted veg. I had half a cauliflower and a big spear of broccoli to use up (another pleasure…finding ways to use odds and ends from the fridge). We ended up eating them from the pan as appetizers while I got the pizza (pictured top) ready for the oven. It was a variation of a pizza I’ve made a few times over the last few months. Whole wheat crust spread with olive oil, a big base of caramelized onion and fennel (this time mixed in with two small needed-to-be used zucchini, sliced thinly into half moons and sauteed with the onion and fennel), a bit of shredded mozzarella and Parmesan, and topped with finely chopped basil (put on after cooking).
I wanted more veg, and I’d requested baby spinach in my Full Circle box this week, so I made Heidi Swanson’s Spiced Coconut Spinach again. I love that recipe! Vegetables…always a part of every nutritious and delicious diet!