My philosophy about food is pretty simple. If you’ve seen the Danish film “Babette’s Feast”, which inspired the name of this blog, you’ll have an idea of what I’m trying to say (if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend you do!). I am on a mission to heal my own gut and reestablish good gut bacteria, but to feast all the while doing it. I hate rigid labels. I believe that different things work for different people and that it’s important to experiment and listen to your body.
The most important thing is that I aim to make delicious food. For me, delicious food shouldn’t just be for your birthday, Christmas, or some other special occasion. While we can’t be breaking out the champagne every day, I believe it should be possible to have something good to eat every day. Because eating is not only a physical act; it is an experience of the senses- taste, touch, smell- and an experience of the mind- it allows us to be creative, to develop a closer relationship to the earth, and to those around us. It is a fundamental part of being human. I hate diets and calorie counting, not only because they can throw you into paranoid eating-disorder land, but because they strip the acts of cooking and eating of their sensuality, of their humanness. Food for me is one of the greatest necessities, but also one of the greatest joys of my human existence.
Preparing food and eating food brings me immense pleasure every single day. Through learning about nutrition and proper food preparation, I have learned to slow down, deal better with stress (I’m a work in progress, really) and be present in the moment. I have learned, and continue to learn, how to be thankful, how to be creative, to be fully alive. Eating is so much more than feeding our bodies. It feeds the mind, spirit, and soul. There is a kind of puritanical expression that I’ve heard many a chronic dieter swear by: “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.” Well, I eat to live, live here being the operative word. I eat to be mentally and physically rejuvenated, to express my creativity, reconnect with my environment, friends and family, to reconnect with myself and disconnect from the overwhelming noise from outside that fills my head. While following a recipe that I post certainly doesn’t oblige you to ascribe to this whole package of ideas, I certainly hope that I can offer encouragement and inspiration to anyone trying to develop a better relationship with food and with themselves, and especially to anyone trying to overcome crippling digestive issues.
As for what kind of food I eat, my main priority is to eat real, unprocessed food as often as possible. This means mostly local, seasonable vegetables and fruits (organic when possible), nuts and seeds, free range eggs and chicken, wild or sustainably farmed fish, and some sustainably raised, grass-fed beef or other red meat from time to time… I do also indulge in good quality cheese on occasion. I never truly understood the importance of avoiding pesticides in my produce and antibiotics and hormones in my meat and poultry until I discovered that candida and leaky gut were the main culprits for my digestive woes. While this article isn’t meant to be all about candida, I will say that these sorts of things definitely contribute to feeding harmful bacteria in the gut, which can lead to major bacterial dysbiosis, which in turn can lead to a host of health issues. So, while ethically and environmentally, I am already inclined to choose products that are local (with some exceptions) and mostly organic, and animals that received humane treatment, having learned about the effects these things were directly having on me turned me into a bit of a stickler almost over night about paying attention to where my food comes from. This is just a brief overview, however. More articles about candida, leaky gut, organic vs. non organic, and meat eating are to come!