I’ve written about my caffeine addiction and love for java on this blog enough already that I should rename it Strictly for Coffee. I guess I get my best ideas in the morning in the line at Starbucks. Well, maybe not my best ideas, but ideas.
When I get a cup in the morning, the first thing I do is bring it up to my nose, close my eyes, and take a loooooong whiff. This puts me right in the morning. I can hardly think of a more fantastic scent, and it makes me enjoy the taste that much more when I bring the cup to my lips. Then I drink it slowly, enjoying every last drop. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day, honestly. My little treat.
I never see anyone else do this. (They probably look at me and wonder what’s wrong with the “special” girl enraptured with her beverage.) I think a lot of people look at coffee more as an upper than as something to enjoy, mainlining it rather than experiencing it. Poor souls. I may look ridiculous while sipping my dark roast, but I’m in heaven.
I think most people look at food in the same way, actually. Not as an upper necessarily, but strictly as fuel. Somehow we were taught that this is the appropriate way to view food. It isn’t for enjoyment, it’s a necessity. Just eat it (nothing too tasty, now) and go about your day. If it tastes good, chances are it’s not good for you anyway.
Book after book has been written about the French Paradox; how is it that the French (and other European people as well) eat cheese, heavy cream, bread, chocolate, drink wine, and yet are healthier (and certainly thinner) than their American counterparts? All the while we live on Lean Cuisines and Diet Coke and all manners of processed foods which promise to increase our health and trim our waistlines, and still we’re one of the fattest countries in the world.
I like what Michael Pollan had to say in The Omnivore’s Dilemma — perhaps it’s really the American Paradox. How is it that a culture so obsessed with the science and health of life are less healthy overall than most European cultures?
Perhaps it is that the acts that make up our daily lives are made to feel like work and not enjoyment? Stress can wreak havoc on your body, manifesting in nearly any way possible. So how can it be healthy to worry so much about food? Why not cook a nice meal, sit down at a table, and let yourself savor every bite you put in your mouth? I bet you’ll eat less than if you were shoveling tasteless food into your mouth in front of the TV.
Food (and drink) for thought.