My good friend Brittany called last week in between adventures in New Zealand. Fortunately, she will be living and working in this beautiful country for the good rest of the year. As I asked about daily life, I once again poke and prod her about the food she is consuming. A tinge of irritation flows through her voice as she answers me yet again with the same response, "really Jules, there is nothing different here than what we are used to. New Zealand is not known for food." Disappointed in her boring and detail-lacking response, I hold back my unanswered food questions as she goes on to tell me about a family mac & cheese recipe she is making for her new friends. I realize my interest in food is not shared by the majority of the population, but I have a feeling she is dodging my question for a reason. During my own traveling adventures, I spent most of my time wondering about the next majestic meal. As I wandered in Prague, I fell in love with their fried cheese. Bologna's pizza made my heart skip a beat. But it was France that really won my heart. Above is a picture I took in a downtown grocery store. It is a wall of jarred animal fat!!!! Holy cow, did they know how to enjoy simple flavor. For a full week, I lived on croissants, wine, baguettes, nutella filled crepes, lox, and cappuccino's. By the time I got home, the only thing that fit over my expanded derriere, were moo-moo's and s stretchy pair of leggings. Maybe it was the wine, or the cappuccino's that altered my self restraint, but I have concluded France for foreigners to be a diets worst nightmare. The next question that is always asked: Why are they all so darn thin? I read a book by a French women, who explained why the French stay in tip top shape. The secret is mental. Their mentality is 'never having to gorge, because one can always have it again whenever they want it.'...hmmm, must be nice.
For those that cannot have french croissants at their beck and call, fill their bellies close to rupture. When I arrived back to reality, my real love for vegetables came swinging back to me, and I shed the lingering croissant fat. As it was not pleasant to expand so quickly, I never regretted a single bite. Not because it was all so delicious (thought, that is a plus), but because of the lessons I learned along the way. Our mental state has so much to do with how and what we consume. Mental patterns drive what goes into our mouths. The convenience factor is a big pull for Western civilization, but, just because we have the option, does not mean we should choose it. Yes, it is true we will be far from starvation if we do not bring meals with us from home. Time is what we are trying to save. I promise you, if we all took the time to eat healthy and whole now, all we will have is time. We will be alive, and our quality of life will be fabulous. We will spend less time in the hospital, and more time with our family and friends. Lets take a lesson from the French, and remember we are part of the very fortunate who have the ability to eat yummy food again and again. Mother Nature works very hard for the food she creates, and we should respect it. Motto to live by: Believe in the power of simplicity, and never eat food with ingredients a fourth grader cannot pronounce.