I had an interesting conversation with my good podcast buddy Allen Therisa this month, about how healthy food can sometimes be a chore.
It’s Allen that has this opinion, not me!
We were discussing the health benefits of rice in a recording of the 2 Guys on Fitness podcast when Allen stated how much he dislikes eating rice in principle.
In the podcast we pick one healthy (or indeed, not so healthy) food every couple of months, to look at the health benefit claims about that food and to consider how much of a role it should play in a rounded diet. So far we have discussed chicken (slightly predictably), tuna (ditto) and peanut butter in this podcast slot.
This month we thought we would give rice a go and examine the difference between brown and white rice. It was during this conversation that Allen revealed how much he dislikes rice and how he has to motivate himself to eat it whenever it comes up on the menu.
This is a strange concept to me for a couple of reasons.
I find the idea challenging because, to my mind, our diets should be balanced and include variety. All foods can get to be unhealthy or unattractive if we eat them in a mechanical and repetitive fashion. Obvious candidates here include chicken (particularly if you focus a lot of your time and energy in the gym or on exercise), potatoes (which for many people are always on the plate in one form or another) and bread.
Our regular dependence on such food stuffs partly comes down to routine and wanting to efficiently (i.e. quickly) eat and raise our energy levels before working, while working or after work. So then we fall back on staples that we know how to prepare or cook and whose taste will be satisfying.
But this kind of routine can lead to all kinds of problems where our health is concerned and can make our lived experience equally routine and lacking in texture.
We also run the risk of missing out on the potential health benefits of a wide range of foods which do not make it onto our menu because of our dietary regime (rice, in this instance) and which can help to break up the scheduling of our lives, even if in modest ways.
But I think my biggest concern when I hear people holding back from embracing a rounded, healthy and nutritious diet, is that by so doing they also potentially fail to embrace the challenges of life itself and its endless potential. Because the way we experience our time on the planet is not only through our actions, how we love or what we eat. It is also a reflection of the measured risks we take, the potential we realise and the engaged attitude we bring to our world.
Embrace what the world has to offer and the opportunities which present themselves will be immense, both at or away from the dining table.