Inspiration: /Food/

cooked book cover

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly vegetables. ~ Michael Pollen

Yes, Michael Pollen said that.  He also said, “If it came from a plant, eat it. If it was made in a plant, don’t.”…AND, “The wonderful thing about food is you get three votes a day. Every one of them has the potential to change the world.” Last one I swear (for now), he said, “You are what you eat eats.”

These quotes are a few reasons I’m on his fan club. Actually I’m not sure he has a traditional fan club, but if he did, I’d be wearing a cheer leading skirt and using carrot tops as pom poms. Long before the words “autoimmune disease” and “inflammation” were a part of my (near daily) vocabulary, he was publishing books like In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto and The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. In them he develops the idea of what’s happening to our diet in Western culture as we move away from the kitchen in search of something fast, losing a connection to our food altogether.

Guys like him, Joel Salatin, Robb Wolf, and Weston A. Price started to change my view of food after I began having health problems, and my husband started doing some research and growing much of our own food. I do wish we had done this before my body started attacking its self. It’s possible it could have saved us some pain, in more ways than one. Either way, changing our ideas and interactions with food has truly enriched our lives.

Before you get the wrong idea, this post…these books…this documentary, they’re not about weight or losing it. They’re not about deprivation or self control. They’re not about/for people who don’t love food or don’t enjoy eating.  They are the opposite. This recommendation, this post, our recipes, and this site for that matter are about loving your body and food so much that you know and understand what you’re putting into it – the care taken in making it, it’s precious ingredients, where it came from. I have heard people say, “I love food too much to give up _____.” I hold absolutely no judgement for those people, but I do want to clear something up. I love food. I mean I heart it, big time. I heart food so much that I do judge food harshly, so much that when I read an ingredient label on a bag of bread and see an ingredient list a mile long, I can see the perversion in that. Bread should have 4 or 5 ingredients tops. I love and appreciate food and my hardworking body so much that I can’t put one of those cream-filled chocolate wafer cookies or nacho flavored chips in my mouth any more without reading the ingredients list first. If I thought I could eat one before I read the label, I usually can’t after. I love food! I love it so much that I don’t just eat it because it’s quick, easy, or some giant food processing manufacturer tells me I should. Those things in boxes and bags usually aren’t food at all.

I don’t claim perfection here, and I certainly fall prey to old cravings that creep up now and then.  I will tell you that eliminating things from your diet, like sugar and highly processed foods, will make those cravings happen far less often. Getting some foodspiration every now and then is important for staying on track and remembering why I love food so much in the first place. That brings us to this recommendation, where I tell you Michael Pollen has written a new book, Cooked. This one deserves a drum roll, because they’ve turned that book into a four part documentary series – “Earth”, “Fire”, “Water”, “Air”. You can stream them all on Netflix, as they are an original series. It won’t guilt you or make you feel bad about yourself or your body. It will teach you a bit (at least I learned a thing or two…or fifty), and most importantly, it will inspire you to continue (and grow) your love of food and gathering around it.

cooked plate

Photo credit: Netflix for Cooked

Another place I go to get a little foodspiration is America’s Test Kitchen podcasts. They are really just about loving food and cooking too. It’s free on itunes and through my “Podcast Addict” app on my android. A few episodes that have been particularly educational and inspirational for me lately are:

  • Episode #417: Your Brain on Food: Lose Weight, Live Longer, Eat Chocolate, and Drink…
  • Episode #310: Junk Food Engineering: Why Food Companies Weaponize…
  • Episode #416: The Dorito Effect: The New Science of Creating Potent Flavor Chemicals…
  • Episode #430: The Great Sugar Debate: The Scientific Argument for Artificial…
  • Episode # 503: The Ethical Meat Eater: Can Carnivores Adopt a Moral High…
  • Episode #506: 8 Glasses of Water/Day? Humbug! Dr. Aaron Carrol Debunks This and…

Photo credit:

The content and message in all of the above may surprise you. It’s fun to hear a variety of opinions and research on food and what’s happening in our food culture today, then form my own opinions and practices.  I don’t always agree, but I do learn and grow.

What’s lending some foodspriation to you these days? Do share the food love, and pass on your recommendations to us and our readers in the comments below.