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You Are HOW You Eat

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"You Are 'HOW' You Eat" is more to the point

  • Jan 24, 2010
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 So now I am encouraged to write a couple of more oblique reviews :|  This subject coalesced from going back and forth between Santa Cruz CA, and England.

When I'm in England at various family households, the daily round is still much the same as when I was a child. Most people have breakfast, lunch and dinner. If, like us, your people originate from Scotland, then you probably call it  "breakfast, dinner, and tea", but essentially, it's the same thing; someone has to rustle up 3 meals a day, come what may. This flow is interrupted only on rare and historic occasions, usually by catastrophe of some description major or minor, in which case, you 'put the kettle on' and make a cup of tea. This is the sure-fire way to swiftly resume your heretofore unbroken pattern of 3-square meals.

But the fascinating question for me is that every time the subject comes up of what we eat 'over here (for breakfast, dinner, or tea)', I have found myself stumped to explain or describe.. and puzzled at why I'm not able to just say.. what.

That is, until I had my epiphany; that it's the experience of eating that is so radically different in my Santa Cruz life. It's changing all the time and it goes in cycles {as well as with our bicycles!}.

So, for instance, right now (Winter storm surges) we are cycling out at breakfast time, to see how the shoreline is doing with the winter surf onslaught (fun), then up to Staff of Life deli where they juice wheat grass on the spot {grown locally by people we know}, into my own cup, and I get coffee too (in a 6-ounce stainless steel mug), and I get a primo pumpkin cookie that is whole wheat flour, vegan and sweetened with beets & molasses (Scots salt porridge be gone!). Then we sit outside, bundled up if it's cold, and munch on our perfectly selected morsels, and maybe we read out loud to each other before heading home the long way.

There's another place in town that must remain a secret because they have elected over time to always charge me only $2 for a bowl of food, no matter what they give me. And yes, that probably has something to do with the fact that my little enamel bowl holds only 8 ounces, and that I always bring it but still, the exchange is a mutual delight, every time.

And Pleasure Point Pizza is $1 a slice on Tuesdays. What could be finer than heading out along East Cliff, chewing on hot pizza whilst watching a happy surfer catch a wave. 
 And our rare bus station; Santa Cruz Metro 'Brew Bar' with its Fair Trade coffee, fresh-brewed for each individual who comes to the counter.

Then there's our various farmer's market forays (bike along the River levee) in which we feed our faces on foot and eventually ride home with a stash of orange and green fruits & leaves (or whatever takes our fancy). Then there's phenomenal Wild Salmon (since we live in the heart of Salmon Nation), for days that demand high protein.

Part of the magic in all this is that there is a quality reminiscent of being a kid, to not think about food until one of us is ravenous and, essentially start the game; if you could eat anything right now, what would you eat?! It means we keep less in the house and it means we eat far less filler-type, mediocre stuff; there's not much we eat just because it's there (because it's not!). One outcome of this lifestyle is that our appreciation for what we do eat is definitely enhanced.

Probably one of the significant things to note is that we very rarely eat out in a restaurant. It's actually not a treat anymore. We've gotten accustomed to source ingredients being local & organic for one thing. This means that establishments that don't count the same as important don't hold much attraction. But also, our optimum portion size has diminished with this way of eating. We actually do have both a Mexican and an Indian place that we enjoy periodically but now we always split the meal and, even then, come away with leftovers.

A long time ago I realized that we might as well just go ahead and eat chocolate cake for breakfast (something that never loses its appeal : ), as eat sugar-laden, milk-drenched TV Ad cereals. So we did. Not for long, but I think it was a good exercise in escaping the food police (formerly resident in our psyches) and now, what ultimately fuels our bodies is the whole gestalt, from what we ingest to how, where and when we ingest it.

When I first saw "Eat dessert first (life is uncertain)", I thought it was way cool. Now, I am clear; I'm not interested in wasting my appetite on anything that doesn't give eating pleasure, and I definitely do best eating what I want, when I want it.

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January 24, 2010
Loved this! And it hits very close to home. I think one of the joys of being an empty nester is that one no longer feels obligated to have three squares on the table every day for the children. (All day-grazing not being compatible with our current school-day structure). We also split portions at restaurants and bring our own containers for leftovers, but I never thought about bringing my own bowl for the original course! Clever!
January 24, 2010
Well, I never thought of reviewing how I eat! Love your write up. :) It brought back a lot of memories from my childhood, eating carrots right by the patch in a veggie garden, picking berries from the bushes. I certainly miss those days when everything was organic and you didn't have to search it out. I definitely want to spend most of our food dollars this coming season on local farms and markets! I would grow my own if we had any land.

By the way, I'm tweeting your review to my followers!
January 24, 2010
Thanks Ecomama! I enjoyed your enjoyment :)
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About the reviewer
Corrina McFarlane ()
I love my laptop. We were lucky enough to have a woman join our women's circle about 5 years ago who had trained inVisioning Collageby Lucia Capacchione. We all piled into her house one day to each make … more
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