March is National Nutrition Month, and to celebrate I am focusing more on what, how, and why I eat. A year ago my wife and I started taking wellness, physical fitness and exercise more seriously. It's been a wonderful journey thus far. We've been playing within a wonderful community of like-minded people aspiring to better themselves, enjoying what the poet Donald Hall calls "the joys of the body and creation." In this case, we've been working at creating what our friend Jill calls the best versions of ourselves. It is a fun effort, and an ongoing, lifelong adventure.
While my exercise habits have improved over the course of the last year, however, my eating habits are still kind of chaotic. If anything, I think they may be worse now than before I started working out regularly, because now I'm under the pretense that whatever crap I eat I can later work off. But, like a movie director that too often says "we'll fix it in post [production]" when something isn't working during filming, there is only so much bad behavior (or bacon-crusted pizza) that one can later melt away in a spin class.
A quick Google search of "nutrition" this morning brought me to The Nutrition Source, a site administered by Harvard University's School of Public Health. With so much misinformation out there, I found it reassuring to consult a site that isn't trying to sell me a quick-fix pill or fad diet. And as I peruse the pages, it is becoming clearer to me that cultivating good eating habits is often a decidedly unglamorous endeavor; there are no tricks or gimmicks involved. For me it is a matter of connecting regularly with real food, with whole food--with food that engages the senses instead of assaulting them.
Andrea and I participate in Community Supported Agriculture through our support of the Three Sisters Farm, a local and organic source for our vegetables. We're lucky that we live in a place that allows us to eat locally. While I remain mildly suspect about the benefits of organic vs. conventional farming (click here for a summary of why), I'd be a fool not to recognize the virtues of eating whole food grown close to home. The challenge for me now is to eat *all* of it without feeling like I need to have some sort of fancy recipe to really enjoy it. I really don't want to let any of our farm share go to waste simply because I didn't know what to pair beet greens with!
So this morning, as I was packing my lunch, I grabbed a fistful of leafy greens from the fridge and put them in a ziplock bag. And during my lunch, I washed them off and ate them. No dressing. No oils or expensive vinegars. And it was wonderful! It was really nice to eat good food the way I eat crappy, processed food: by grabbing a handful of it, and stuffing my face full of it!! So liberating!!
So Happy Nutrition Month Everyone! May it serve as a gentle reminder for each of us to be a bit more mindful of what, how, and why we eat the way we do. I'm going to have some fun this month, and I hope you do as well!
"Wear your mask & practice social distancing. Together, we can defeat Covid 19!"
"Literacy in Music & Arts is one of your vital links to global citizenship!"
"Be sure to support the arts in *your* community!"