Updated: Feb 21, 2019
When it comes to nutrition, I tend to think that it is important to talk about the pleasure of food over its nutritional value.
For many people in the world today eating a decent diet can be seen as a privilege and eating at all is simply part of the process of survival. For others, however, and particularly in the West, it is relatively easy to access a wide variety of foodstuffs.
So when it comes to the (very popular) topic of nutritional advice, I always start from this fundamental point and then ask people to consider their own relationship to food.
Personally, I think it is easier to appreciate the value and the power of food in all our lives if you develop a genuine sense of curiosity as to what is potentially on the menu. This is because it is always more interesting to cook what we eat, to work out what we are going to cook, or to watch cooking demonstrations online or on television as part of the journey to enjoying what we eat.
After all, we are not machines, but reasoning and sensitive individuals, and the food that we eat is more than simply body fuel.
It is more than that to me, anyway.
Indeed, even the very vocabulary that we use to describe the food we eat tells us a lot of about the way we feel about it (and was it not Francois Mauriac who said, “Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are”?).
In addition, for me the vocabulary of the gym when applied to the subject of food; the talk about carbs’, supplements, fuelling, refuelling, protein-loading, dietary control etc. is not a good thing. Instead I am more interested in the smell, textures, colour, taste and pleasures of the food that I eat, all of which sounds better to my ears that the techno' jibber-jabber of our contemporary dietary culture.
Also, for myself there is no diet, healthy living lifestyle, or even food plan to dictate how I eat.
Instead there are only good recipes and the sensuality of wonderful food.
Plus, in my opinion, if you follow an unwanted eating plan, or one that is restrictive in terms of when or what you can eat, you will inevitably be on a losing streak because that approach to food is quite simply not sustainable in the long run.
And remember that many people on the planet cannot eat properly, even if they would like to.
So, if you have the chance to eat the food you want, embrace the opportunity to have a fully rounded understanding of what it is that you are eating and, ideally, cook your own meals to celebrate the food that is (about to be) on your plate.
Because it is more than sustenance for the body, it is fuel for life.
Enjoy your training, enjoy your cooking and enjoy your food.