In defense of food
I hear a lot of talk about moderation on holidays, and about how sad it is that so many cultures are focused around food, but I’m not on board with that.
I believe in sitting around the table on Thanksgiving, eating good food, and not worrying about the calories. I believe in congregating in the kitchen and picking at the raw cookie dough on Christmas Eve. I believe in going out to lunch with your girlfriends at your favorite Mexican restaurant, or finding your favorite cupcake at the local bakery. I believe that when you go to your Italian grandmother’s house who will chase you around the house with a wooden spoon if you don’t eat enough, you should try her damned spaghetti, because it’s probably the best you’ll ever have. I believe in renting horror movies and making a fort out of blankets to eat popcorn and nachos in with your significant other.
We are not bodybuilders. We aren’t in competition. We can have a freaking slice of birthday cake that our friend slaved over for her son. No, you don’t need to eat a plate of grandma’s spaghetti the size of your head, but you shouldn’t beat yourself up for having a decent portion.
Food should not be the enemy. Eat well. Eat healthy. When you indulge yourself, do it right. Don’t eat six twinkies, buy one of those ridiculously expensive cupcakes from the gourmet place in your city. When you’re going nuts from eating raw spinach for two weeks straight, have a really awesome, authentic Japanese dinner and pay far too much money for it instead of diving into a bag of Doritos.
Have fun with food. It does mean a lot to many cultures, and there’s no need to be afraid of it or to break that tradition. Pass down recipes. Have a whipped cream eating contest with your niece. Attempt to make your aunt’s great apple pie, burn it three times, and feed the remains to the dog. But when you get it right, don’t just put it on the table and insist that everyone else eat it. Have a slice yourself.
Stop being scared and stop limiting yourself. Be a food snob. Insist on ordering the most expensive chocolate cake, then enjoy every single bite, or split it with your best friend. I promise you will not go up a dress size from it.