“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” ― François de La Rochefoucauld
~ Savoring what is and not mourning what is not.~
As I have approached the purpose and result of my eating in a new light, I think of things that I’d never really thought of before.
My mother, being the creative individual that she is, is also a foodie. When preparing to entertain, she will pour over recipes. Think of the flavors to savor and the intermixing of each ingredient of one dish and how it will meld or play off of another. For her, her language of love is food.
She loves to entertain, to try new things and to work freely with ingredients. My new necessity of going gluten-free has been a challenge to her as I must also be dairy, soy, egg, GMO, and nightshade free as well as other things. This has been her greatest challenge. The traditional family favorites and cultural norms can no longer be consumed and new discoveries must be found.
I did not realize the impact of my dietary changes until last week, when at a dinner party all of the foods set before me had ingredients that I could not consume. As the salad of kale, tomatoes and mozzarella, healthy as it may have been, was passed around with the garlic bread, (a very respectable start to a wonderful meal of pasta and finished off with a wonderful dessert), I quickly realized that I must prepare my own foods.
My health, my nutrition is my responsibility. Others need not be subject to it!
I simply prepared a salad that I could eat and sat to enjoy the company. Yes, there were bits of awkwardness as I’d finished far ahead of everyone, but that’s okay. Accept yourself and others will accept you for who you are.
In the future, when invited to dinner, my advice is to be gracious about it. Prepare ahead. When invited, explain to the host or hostess that you would love to attend, but bring your own food. Remove that burden from their shoulders as it is not theirs to carry.
Rather than feel awkward, offer no apologies, as there is nothing to apologize for! This is a necessity and not a fad! Briefly explain your situation (if you choose to), concentrate on the conversation, and enjoy the company! After all, we must eat intelligently. For those who must eat gluten and wheat free, this must be a science as well as an art.
In all of your study, however, do not forget to enjoy what it is you are eating as it is not only a source of nutrition, and a necessity, but also can be a source of enjoyment.
Rather than mourn the loss of the foods you once loved, think about it through the perspective of Karl Lagerfeld who said, “I never touch sugar, cheese, bread… I only like what I’m allowed to like. I’m beyond temptation. There is no weakness. When I see tons of food in the studio, for us and for everybody, for me it’s as if this stuff was made out of plastic. The idea doesn’t even enter my mind that a human being could put that into their mouth. I’m like the animals in the forest. They don’t touch what they cannot eat.”
― Karl Lagerfeld
Enjoy the positives, such as the way you feel now as opposed to the way that you used to feel. Only you can discern the difference you feel, and those around you will eventually realize the difference that they see, such as the healthier person that now stands before them.
Know that you are doing your body good and not harm, enjoy the things that you can eat!! Savor the flavors and try new things. Search the gluten-free foodie blogs for they, the bloggers, are the true talent behind eating gluten-free.
“And when you crush an apple with your teeth, say to it in your heart:
Your seeds shall live in my body,
And the buds of your tomorrow shall blossom in my heart,
And your fragrance shall be my breath,
And together we shall rejoice through all the seasons.” Kahlil Gibran
You are no longer eating for just the “now” but also for your future!
Be glad, be healthy, and be free from guilt! There is nothing to feel guilty about. Just enjoy.
Happy Reading and Eating!