Food, I love it. All of it. (ok, not liver…..there’s something seriously disturbing about liver,,,and eggplant, ghastly stuff!) But those aside, I love food, cooking it, eating it, offering it. Food really is one of life’s greatest pleasures.

There’s nothing quite like a juicy steak served with potato smothered in sour cream, and green beans, or poached salmon with rice and asparagus, or how about a fresh salad, crunchy and flavourful….and never have we had access to a better array of food; fresh, frozen, organic, homemade, fat free, sugar free (ok, scratch those last two if you want any flavor) but you get my drift. Enjoying the earth’s bounty is a gift…..and I plan to enjoy every mouthful before I die.

Now I am very health conscious. I honestly eat 5-10 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day but that doesn’t come cheap. Eating healthy costs more than living on fast food and prepared meals, and it takes discipline. That said, I’m only human and not beyond falling into temptation. I like my potato chips every so often – we all crave junk food some times. And I’m fairly certain that chocolate covered cherries are a necessary part of my healthy eating regimen. (If they weren’t how are they constantly appearing in my mouth?)

Some foods are easier to prepare than others, especially those you like. Personally, I’m a noodle lover. Boil me up some egg noodles topped with sour cream and I’ll follow you anywhere (and homemade noodles are by far the best!) And while I love fresh salads, I have to set some boundaries about what does and doesn’t qualify as ‘salad greens’. Kale and cabbage are NOT among those that qualify. Both are tasty and make wonderful additives to salads (in small doses) but any salad that contains only kale or only cabbage is guaranteed to be a workout. I once ordered a kale Cesar salad at a restaurant and couldn’t get through it (And I never leave a plate empty) Every mouthful took so long to chew my jaw eventually started to ache so I had to abandon it….I just got tired of chewing (That’s one good way to diet I guess) It also doesn’t have a lot of flavor, whereas a variety of lettuces seem to pack their own unique taste (or maybe they just absorb the dressing better)

I love a hearty lumberjack’s breakfast complete with bacon, eggs and toast, and I never underestimate the value of a nice thick slice of salami…any time….it’s just good for the soul.

Now I’m not knocking fast food or dissing the restaurant industry, both have their place is society’s eating routines. Sometimes that slice of pizza hits the spot when you’re on the run, and never discount the role of the almighty french fry, humanity is hooked on them, and the more crap you pile onto them (cheese, gravy, mayo….) the better. I think we need to limit these foods because they offer no nutritional value and, thanks to a host of preservatives and artificial flavours, they also pack on the pounds. But limiting them isn’t easy. If you’re single it’s not motivating to cook for one. If you’re tired from working all day, you just want fast and easy. And if you just don’t like to cook, you probably aren’t very good at it, so why bother? (Fortunately for me, I love to cook…ok, probably because I love to eat)

I guess I believe that anything is good, in moderation and this is where we fall apart in society. We tend to binge, then we seek out extreme diets that eliminate sugars, flours, starches,,,,anything that adds pounds, when really if we just ate everything we wanted in moderation, we’d probably be ok. The occasional indulgence of our junky treats, or the overindulgence that comes with holidays and gatherings, would balance out when we return to our moderate eating…… assuming we DO return to it. Seems like there’s more and more fast food restaurants opening up and more prepared foods accompanying our kids to school, and this is where we need the change, or rather the discipline.

I guess at the end of the day it all comes down to personal preference and what each one of us is willing to do for our eating habits. Good food costs, a lot. And good cooking takes practice and time and desire, and that’s a big commitment, cause if you don’t like it or don’t do it well, you’ll have wasted the effort and the money. I maintain that a healthy balance of both worlds will keep both the conscience and the body happy so I’m ok with occasionally washing my healthy salad down with a glass of red wine and a side order of fries. I like the good stuff, and I allow the bad stuff some times, and for the moment, the food Gods appear to be happy with me…so who am I to mess with a good thing?

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