Last year my food goals for this blog were to promote 'conscious eating' and food habits. We now eat several days meatless, and have increased our vegetable and fruit intake considerably. I also did much seasonal cooking and eating as well as taking advantage of our garden and any local foods. Being conscious of the foods we eat is a way to 'slow down'. It takes a bit more time to eat this way, but it's worth it in many ways!
I've decided this year to focus on moderation. There are a lot of foods that I love that are just not good for me. High fat and fried foods are something we limit and I now do very little frying at all. But, I am NOT willing to never have my mom's fried chicken again, or a piece of pecan pie, or cheese sauce on my steamed broccoli, and the list goes on! I do, however, believe that in moderation all of these things can be enjoyed and don't need to disappear from a well balanced diet!
So I spent some time gathering some quotes on moderation and I want to share them with a few of my insights.
COMPLETE ABSTINANCE IS EASIER THAN PERFECT MODERATOIN.~ St. Augustine\
I think this quote is true, but I also think if you turn it around to say : Perfect moderation is easier than comoplete abstinance...that is ALSO true. Chips are one of my favorite foods...if you can call them food! But, this year, I decided to quit buying them. We have bought them on occasion, when we had a Saturday sandwich, but we only bought a small bag. We didn't buy a big bag that stayed around to tempt anyone. I see no reason to completely obliterate a food from our diet because it's not good for us. It's much better for me to be able to have it once in a while as to think I'll never have it again. For instance, I like liver and onions, but it's not a healthy meal, so we eat it only once a year! Perfect moderation! Much easier for me than thinking I might never have it again. The thought that I might not ever taste my mom's fried chicken again, because it's not healthy, would be very hard for me to do, but to eat it once a year is perfect moderation. It's enough to satisfy my longing for it because I know it's not good for me.
EXCESS ON OCCASION IS EXHILARATING. IT PREVENTS MODERATION FROM ACQUIRING THE DEADENING EFFECT OF HABIT. ~ W Somerset Maugham
Doesn't this make perfect sense in respect to our food choices? Thanksgiving is a perfect example of an occasional excess! Even Michelle Obama said in a recent interview to forget your diet on Thanskgiving and enjoy the food! If we didn't do that, the 'habit' of moderation would become just that...dull and uninspiring...nothing but a habit.
This year, I plan to exercise moderation in a more agressive way. If I lose some weight along the way, wonderful, but I won't let it discourage me and send me back to the land of excess! We feel better now than we did a little over a year ago. Making conscious food decisions and exercising moderation is the way I want to bring a healthier lifestyle to myself and my family. I'm fully aware that I have weight to lose, but I realize that all my years of agressive and excessive dieting has not resulted in weight loss, but the opposite! Instead of thinking about 'dieting' and NOT eating this and NOT eating that, I plan to practice moderation and not worry about the results.
I grew up with wonderful home cooks. My mom, grandmother, and many aunts were all tremendous cooks and I learned a lot from them. I have many of their recipes, but those were the days of eating to survive, sometimes using ingredients that were cheap and not necessarily 'good' for you. Because of that, many of their recipes are fat laden, high calorie dishes. I plan to take these recipes and make them 'better' with healthier ingredients. I want them to still be the same great dishes, just healthier to eat! I'll feature them here on this blog.
Tonight I'm planning on having a dish called Elephant Ears. This is not the kind you get at the county fair, these are more like dumplings. It's my aunt Vivian's recipe- my mom's sister. I'm going to see what I can do to improve it's 'health factor' without changing how delicious it is. I'll be sure to let you know how it turns out. This is another one of those 'once a year' dishes because the 'ears' are cooked in ham broth which tends to be too salty. I'll see how it turns out, and hopefully we'll enjoy it!