Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Why I'm doing this...?

Here it is Wednesday evening and we've just finished chicken parmesan with homemade fettucine alfredo and a big salad with red bell peppers and romaine hearts dressed in lemon vinaigrette and I'm thinking this is actually pretty easy, in fact easier than I thought it would be. Really the big thing seems to be consciousness; being conscious of what we have and what I can do with it. Not thinking we don't have what I want and making a store run or heading out to a restaurant. This is not to say it's not tough at times especially at work where we have dining choices in the building (nothing great mind you but even a mediocre burger and fries sometimes sounds better than reheated leftovers) and numerous more choices in the neighborhood but so far consciousness has prevailed and we're on day 14.

The question I seem to be asked again and again is "why?" Why are you doing this, is it monetary, health reasons, etc... Well, I think it boils down to something one of my friends at work likes to say when we make a decision for all the right reasons; it's the right thing to do. Sometimes we make difficult decisions that end up causing someone a great deal of work or costs some money to save some money but still requires a great effort or may not directly benefit us or the company but for example will be less of an impact on the environment. Regardless we can always come back to this simple statement, it's the right thing to do.

Why is it the right thing to do? With the economy where it is and having lost 40% of the value of my retirement recently just as everyone else has I could say it's because of money, or that we overindulged in spending over the holidays and again we could say the same thing. We could say it's for health reasons because we can control the amount of salt and sugar we put in ourselves if we make our food from natural whole foods from scratch and make reasonable size portions in order to lose some of my excess weight or control my blood sugar; we could say it is for health reasons for all of these things. Environmentally it is far more sustainable in practice to make all our food from scratch and minimize waste and packaging. All of these things would be right and all of them are part of what I'm trying to do but if we return to the simple statement of it's the right thing to do it encompasses all of these reasons but doesn't really bring up the most important reason of all... I have a 10 year old son that I want to know how to prepare, eat and enjoy whole, natural foods and live more sustainably all while minimizing his and our footprint on this big round blue ball spinning through the universe. How to enjoy food that doesn't necessarily come in cardboard boxes or wrapped in plastic wrap or handed through a window. How he can enjoy the farmer's market and local foods and crafts that are passed along from generations to generation like bread making or organic farming, this is all how I want him to grow up. Maybe, just maybe if he continues to enjoy making the pasta with his Dad or learning how to bake a brioche a tete he will retain these skills and this love for making things with his hands throughout his life and will remember us standing shoulder to shoulder covered in flour and cranking that pasta machine or kneading that brioche dough.

I'm not trying to get on a soapbox and I have no ill will towards anyone that drives through for food or sends the kids out to get a soda pop, in fact I still indulge on occasion and always will. Sometimes you just need a chili dog and a coke, or at least I do but that doesn't mean we have to live on them all the time. I'll just keep on keepin' on and so far this is kinda fun and I hope it stays that way because in just the last 2 weeks my blood sugar has dropped to acceptable levels and stabilized and I've lost a couple pounds without dieting or heading to the gym on a daily basis. I think there's something to this whole foods and eating the way we've always supposed to have been. It feels great, there was money in my account after paying all my bills this month, I'm spending more quality time with my son, we're not throwing out or recycling a lot of packaging and so if for nothing else I can fall back on all of these things but it's still just the right thing to do.

Hasta, I'll get back on and talk more about food in the next couple days...

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