I remember reading a Get Fuzzy comic strip where Bucky and Satchel play “Food or Not Food”. Bucky the cat feeds something to Satchel (the dog) and Satchel tells him if it’s “food or not food”. Bucky feeds him all manner of weird things from the trash can. Moldy things, crunchy things.. things that are not identified.
We play a version of this game with our dogs, but with things we would actually feed them. Tomatoes, carrots, green beans, sweet potatoes etc. Qor has some things she considers food that Qay turns her nose up at and vice versa.
They are amazingly discerning.
But, I realized that, perhaps, I’m not.
It’s no surprise that I like food. I like food a lot. And this past year, I’ve worked really hard at finding new ways to eat things that I didn’t like before. (Like beans. I used to hate beans. Now I eat them and enjoy them at least 3 times a week)
My excitement for finding new foods lately has started to wane. I’m all “eh whatever” about food. I’d rather go for things that “I know I like”. You know, things like Chinese take out and burgers with sweet potato fries and corned beef sandwiches.
Recently, LB took a day to visit NYC and I took the day off of work to just hang out at home by myself. (sometimes you need a little alone time, dontcha think?)
I took the opportunity to order Chinese takeout. Pork LoMein actually. I was soooo looking forward to it! Noodles and grease and pork, oh my!
As I was shoving this bucket of debauchery in my face with wanton abandon, eyeballing Stana Katic on TV, a little voice in the back of my head piped up.
Are you enjoying this?
Are you even TASTING it?
I put the chopsticks down and thought about what was in my mouth.
The adjectives that came to mind were not things that you would find appetizing.
Mushy, salty, mouth-coatingly greasy noodles.
Why was I eating this?
I think that I have this *idea* of what I like because I’ve eaten it so many times before. Chinese food was comfort food. I didn’t bother to taste it, really.
I also realized that hours after I ate that Chinese food, I really didn’t feel that great. Double winner! It didn’t really taste good and I didn’t feel good after I ate it.
This is not food that is good for me. I was only eating it because it was in my head that it was yummy. It really wasn’t.
I need to get back to my recipes and paying attention to what I put in my mouth. Take a minute to taste it. To internalize what I was experiencing. Is that Twix bar really what I want? Imagining the taste and feel of a Twix bar right now, I can feel the oily chocolate. If I want chocolate, a small piece of the Sharffen Berger I have stashed in the pantry would be more enjoyable.
I owe it to myself to know and acknowledge what I have in my mouth.