Updated: Feb 22, 2021
Your body is a system that requires fuel to work, to move, to live. Food is that fuel. When you hear someone talk about their 'macros' they are talking about the macronutrients; protein, carbohydrates and fats. Then their are micronutrients; vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, zoonutrients and myconutrients.... All of these nutrients are the fuel that keeps us going. Although these nutrients are vital I think we often forget that food, the taste, the smell, the presentation, the environment we eat it in, is all the fuel for an overall well balance enjoyable life!
Our bodies aren't only bone, muscle, connective tissue and so on. We are emotional, spiritual, social beings. We are part of communities, we have feelings and cravings, we use food to celebrate, to bring together, to mourn. Our bodies are complex beings that yes, need specific nutrients, but we need so much more than that for an enjoyable life.
Food is often what brings people together. A first date going to go get ice cream. A neighbourhood BBQ when the weather warms to welcome everyone out of hibernation. Sharing a chocolate cake at work for a co-workers birthday. Christmas dinner with the extended family, smores over the campfire, a quiet meal shared after a death. These moments, these meals are the fuel for a well balanced healthy lifestyle.
I think we can get too focused on the specific nutrients of a meal and sometimes miss what the meal is really about. Some of my favourite memories growing up happened around the dinner table [ My brothers and I laughing hysterically the night my Mum made chicken balls for supper ]. While we aimed to eat a healthy meal, it was the laughter and the story-telling that gave me life. Yes, let's aim to eat a balanced diet filled with a variety of whole foods but let's not get too caught up in the numbers we miss the opportunities to connect. Sometimes the right answer isn't always the 'best' or 'healthiest' food choice and that is ok! Life is about balance!