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PREPENT DAY 11: Focus on food as more friend than foe with an appetite for spicing life with better balance the perfect snack.

PREPENT DAY 11

Elul 11 5775  – August 26 2015

Paris

 

What would be the first thing you do if you find out you‘ve got 30 days to live?

How’s that for dinner talk? We sat around last night, around a beautifully laid table, a few of us who know each other and new friends who’ve just met and I asked the question:

Ben’s answer: First of all – this is a terrible question and I hate it. But – I’d go eat something expensive, like a really great steak that I usually never allow myself or can afford.  And then go drive into the woods for a few days.

The conversation focused then on final food: Gourmet luxuries, comfort foods, that special flavor you crave and haven’t had for so long for whatever reason, what would be one dish you’d want to savor for the first – or one more – time?

Dawn, unblinking, went for chocolate – cadbury’s with fruits and nuts. Yo knew the exact texture of the Persian pastry and where to go get it (hopefully today) and started singing about cigarettes and chocolate milk . Others cited their mother’s chicken soup, wild boar (no comment), or a really perfect mango, with some salt.

My mother, I recall, once told me that a freshly baked piece of bread with butter is the comfort food she craves the most.

So we sat there, drinking lovely wine that has waited patiently for a decade to become part of our bodies and talked about mortality and pleasure and living for each day while so much goes on in our lives and loves and pains and problems and potential.

Paris Belleville Market 8/25/15 (photos by Amichai Lau-Lavie)

On this day 11 of Prepent, with 29 days to go until the dress rehearsal of our death, I want to start focusing, for at least a few days, on the body and on eating. So much to work with here on our path to better balance, more self love, will power, healthier choices.

A confession: One late night, a few weeks ago, after a disappointing first date of sorts, and not a lot of dinner earlier, with nothing else open in the area, I walk into a fast food joint and get a cheap grade of one of my comfort foods, defying almost every rule of my diet. There was a bit of satisfied pleasure but also a big side of instant guilt. Not just for the fact that this was too late for me to eat and I will pay for it in the morning; that it was not healthy food, fried and cheap and mass produced; Too many carbs, not to mention not too kosher; The tired eyes of the guy at the counter who has spent who knows how many hours standing for too little pay.

So I give myself today a break for making a questionably wise decision under dubious circumstances and succumbing to what is instead of holding on for better options. But I also want to make a resolution to return, yet again, to the kind of non-stop dietary discipline that enables me to enjoy life and treat my body with respect and kindness and be part of the solution that prioritized healthy food choices for me and for others alike. No fast food again this next year please. C’mon.

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unnamed-3How we deal with food defines so much of who we are, with so many issues, implications, socially derived destructive messaging and simple, basic recipes for healthy better options good for us all and hard to maintain. It’s worth some focus.

What’s one food-related change or choice that we can each make or take today towards better balance and maybe just a dash of spice towards more perfect living?

 

Bon Appetit.

-Amichai

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