Each week, I attempt to meal plan for our family. It cuts down on wasted time each evening scouring the cabinets to put something together, it allows me to have a plan and list what I need to get each week at the grocery store, and it frees the Mr. and I from having the dreaded “what do you want” conversation each night as we’re starving! I not only plan our dinners, but I also host a small group of women each Wed. night in my home and I plan the snacks we’ll have.
Being hospitable is a part of who I am! It’s a part of the family I grew up in and a part of how we try to live now as a family. I can’t just put out chips and dip and be satisfied. I love planning and putting special effort into these things to make it great! (Tonight’s theme is wine & cheese with desserts that compliment!) I cannot tell you the freedom and weight that meal planning ahead of time has given me. I go through cookbooks, food magazines and food blogs to get ideas and put the week of dinners together, then I write it on our little weekly calendar on our fridge. And finally, I make a shopping list of what I need to make those meals. It takes time but it ends up saving me time each night and even allows me to do some prep throughout the day if I already know what the end result is going to be!
It thrills me to be able to put good meals on our table, prepare a well-thought out menu for a small group and put energy into the details of each. (This also transcends to party planning! LOVE IT!)
I’m not the best cook or baker, but I can follow a recipe and get to the desired end product. And I love good food, in fact, good food is so important to me that I recently told the hubster that I would pay up to $1000 to be able to enjoy a Doner Kebab from Germany! Good thing that’s not possible because we’d be out a lot of money for one meal!
The last Doner I had… on our honeymoon in Germany 2008.
Not everyone has these interests or even cares about good food and in the recent weeks I’ve noticed this more and more. In my day-to-day life with family and friends, those around me do care about food, whole foods and real food. But stepping out of that and I’m hit with the reality that most people are not “foodies”… it makes me sad but it’s true. Some see meals and eating as a means to just get energy and a need for our bodies. Others just simply don’t have the experience with good food or the difference that it makes in your life. I want you to care! I want you to know the difference between a GOOD dinner and one that’s just getting you by! Life is way too short to not enjoy the food you’re eating and make it worth eating!
Latte & best mixed berry muffin I’ve enjoyed – Montreal
I’m not an arguer or debate-driving person. I often find that no good comes of turning in a simple evening of hanging out into a debate on subjects that just bring division… recently I was surrounded by a few people who see food the way I do, and some that don’t… those that didn’t would have loved to get into a debate about it and I entertained it for a bit but decided that it wasn’t worth it. However, I know there are a hundred truths and studies to prove that what they were saying is not true. Even in knowing that real food makes a difference in your body, energy levels and overall enjoyment of the food – I’m not willing to argue about it. Just know that I will always fight for good food!
As my family strives to stick to real foods (non-processed, pasture raised animals, natural and organic produce) I’m continually surprised at the amount of people that have no interest in even learning why these things are important! I can tell you from personal experience that the Mr. and I not only agree on the importance of this but can taste the serious difference between REAL food and everything else – garden grown produce vs. mass-produced. We no longer buy conventional fruits & veggies – because organically grown produce is FAR superior in taste!
Some say this makes me a food snob – so be it! In fact, one of my best friends and fellow food snob is coming to visit this weekend and I’m thrilled to be able to take her to some of the tastiest joints in the cities! If you’re not a foodie, I hope you will be one day and care more about the quality and taste of what’s going into your mouth and body. Beyond the health benefits which cannot be ignored, there’s plenty to be said about tasty food! I think people settle way to often for junky/crappy food due to the way our marketed society gives in to advertisements and the next bag of chips on the end cap at the grocery store. It’s not only about eating healthy, to me it’s also about savoring and enjoying what you’re eating.
Being someone who cares about food and has the “researcher” genes, I enjoy watching many food-amentaries and reading books such as In Defense of Food by Michael Polluck. Some of the best films I’ve watched include Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead; To Market, To Market; Fresh; Food, Inc. and there are many, many more! I suggest you watch at least one of them, or find a different one that will give you some prospective on GOOD food. What it means to eat organic, why it’s important and how it impacts your body.
Recently someone I was talking with was somewhat dumbfounded that the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) allows pink slime in our beef and couldn’t believe they would let things that are not good for us into our supermarkets – I’m afraid that this is the common thinking and it’s scary. Take time to educate yourself! Take time to know what’s best to serve your family and what’s just not good for their bodies! Just because something is advertised as good for you, typically there are lots of loop holes and only percentages the companies’ have to report! Dive in and learn for yourself. Sit down with a grocery store carrot, and one plucked from an organic garden this summer – you’ll taste the difference immediately!
My mother-in-law makes fun of me (in a fun way) sometimes because I’m known for taking pictures of my food/plate before diving into the deliciousness. It’s not something she really cares about and may not really ever understand but for me – every meal is an opportunity, a learning experience, a chance to really enjoy the tastes and aromas. To relax usually with friends or family. And capturing that plate is part of my experience!
All this to say – Food Matters! It’s not always about being super healthy in my book, it’s that good food makes a difference, not only in your experience at the meal table. I urge you to grow to appreciate good food! I’m off to make a snack now! Rest assured I will ENJOY it!
Steak & Shrimp anniversary dinner (not the healthiest- but very tasty!) – Montreal