After speaking and listening to various people from different walks of life, (as obvious as it may sound), it was clear that everyone had different views and values when it comes to food choices. For some, it’s a way of bonding with others, enjoying the moment, exposing themselves to different cultures. Cooking is a love language to others and for myself. Unwinding as I enjoy the aromas, how the table is set up with good food, music elevating the small details which can be opulent, elegant or even simple and humble making the mundane things in life more meaningful. Some of my best memories are centered around food and the table. Also. it is establishing a positive relationship with food and using as my creative outlet. However, this might not be the case for everyone and sometimes we may experience values that conflict with ours. The reason why I am emphasising this is that it essential that we recognise our own biases as it is easy to judge other choices without fully listening to people’s stories and giving them a safe space to do so. Health is not a one size fits all and sometimes, society and sometimes over curated posts in social media can obscure our view of what food choices and health looks like for us. (Double edged sword). #connect and show the realistic side and to be authentic.
With the values that I had mentioned previously, I acknowledge that not everyone may have or want to invest the time when preparing food. Some might see it as just food for fuel, providing for the family, might be pressed for time. We are all coming from different experiences, circumstances. especially cooking skills and ability.
Establishing a positive relationship with food is a journey, not a destination and there are many ways to embark on this lifelong journey. For some, it might mean meal planning, quick and easy meals, carving out time, choosing a day to get your groceries and not going when you’re hungry. I’ve seen a family of six spend $80 a week on groceries whereas there are others I know a family unit of two that can easily spend $60 every few days of pre-prepared meals which works for both.
If your finding that you are looking to change, re-evaluating the way how you see food, I invite you to take the time, to reflect, even if its five minutes and ask yourself the following questions:
What do you value when it comes to food choices?
My answer as an example. Diversity of food from different cultures is important to me. I try to obtain local and sustainable ingredients where I can. Food that nourishes my body, enjoying simple humble meals and fine dining (I don’t mind spending a coin or two with fine dining). I enjoy making time for food, but when life gets busy, I prefer to have meals prepared in meals to help avoid getting takeout and overspend. Food should not be wasted and try to be creative with leftovers and use a list posted on the fridge highlight expiry dates of stored meals, leftovers, meats to prevent food wastage. I will also have ~2 frozen meals in the freezer busy days where I have no time to cook in the kitchen.
Reflecting out your values, how they make you feel?
It makes me feel good as it offers flexibility, variety, exposure to new foods and experiences. This helps me with enjoying my meals with others or solo and leads me back to a place of gratitude.
Feel free to share your responses in the comments below and would love to hear your thoughts’.