Thursday, 15 April 2010

Bunnies or carotts?

The other day was a madly busy one and I didn't made enough time for lunch. Mid afternoon, still in a rush and hungry, I end up making myself a cup of tea and devouring a Lindt chocolate bunny leftover from Easter. Delicious. Fast forward a few hours and I am walking around the supermarket with a wailing toddler, frantically trying to get something for dinner before he goes into complete meltdown. It's been a long day. I'm tired and hungry and in need of comfort. I'm on my own tonight as J is out and I've got the house to myself. I think of what I'd like for dinner and all I can picture in my mind's eye is a huge Lindt chocolate bunny: soft and crunchy at the same time, comforting and I can eat it in front of the telly. I've got one at home. It's been a shitty day...I deserve it. That's what I want for dinner.  
Now, on most days if I tune in and discover that what I want for dinner is bar of chocolate, so be it. I'm usually happy to listen and trust that it's OK. But I've been baking and eating lots of cakes over the holidays and helping my son sample his many chocolate eggs and I know that my body does not really want or need more. I remind myself gently that I had a bunny for lunch and could do with something a bit more nourishing to avoid burnout by 8pm. After a brief battle with my gremlin who is urging me to go for the chocolate, I decide to make a choice to eat something that is more in tune with my ideal of a healthy diet. My ideal of a healthy diet includes plenty of chocolate, certainly, and it also includes a wide range of fresh, unmucked about foods not shaped like bunnies.
So I stop in the middle of the supermarket with my toddler shouting "I want this and this and this" as he points wildly to anything that's in a colourful packaging. I stop, tune everything out for a minute and tune in. What foods on my 'healthy' list do I fancy right now? What will truly nourish me? As I tune in and focus, I know, all of a sudden what it is I want to eat.
When I get home I unpack my goodies and get to work. I grate a couple of carrots and slice an avocado, add a dribble of balsamic vinegar, lots of olive oil, some cracked black pepper and a large handful of chopped cashew nuts. Then, I unpack a very mature wedge of oozing, creamy Taleggio cheese and put a couple of crispy rye crackers on the board next to it: soft and crunchy at the same time, comforting and I can eat it in front of the telly. Perfect.

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