Why We Really Need to Eat

DinnerParty1HERO

A Note From the Chef

For some of us, being in the kitchen preparing a meal is a joyful and creative act; a meditative practice even. For others just the thought of shopping, cooking and then being left with a messy kitchen, is nothing short of a nightmare.

I get it. Being a chef doesn’t exclude me from the demands of having to eat at least twice a day – every day. Eating is non-negotiable of course (at least for most of us at the moment) but maybe there’s another reason that being human requires that we eat or die?

It’s just that I would think our Maker, the one who builds universes and has everything working with the precision and grace of the cosmos, would have figured out a better, more convenient way to keep us alive then to have us scramble for food every day…unless He had a good reason.

Wouldn’t it have been so much more efficient to have us just breathe in our nourishment from the sun like plants? After all, we have better things to do with our time – like make money and be entertained.

But our Maker doesn’t make mistakes, right?

That’s why I think there’s got to be another reason He made it so that we had to eat to live. Maybe He knew that eating would force us to ban together in the effort of foraging for food. Maybe He knew that in the process we would receive many gifts: the taste of a sweet, juicy peach at the height of its ripeness; the aroma of cinnamon that permeated our childhood home at the holidays, remembered decades later by the mere whiff of this sultry spice.

And maybe our Maker knew that eating would require that we stop whatever we’re doing – every day – two or three times a day even – and join with others who also needed to eat. This would guarantee that we would have to connect and bond to each other.

He knew this needed to be a daily practice – programmed into our makeup -  because He knew we needed each other in order to feel truly alive. He knew we needed to play together because when we did, eventually, we would see ourselves in the other. This was what the party was all about.

However, since our Maker also gave us free will, He couldn’t force us to love each other, so He devised a plan…eating. How inventive of Him and how very human of us to have found so many ways to mess it up. Somewhere in the pursuit of progress, we lost our way. It wasn’t part of the plan that His clever little creatures would prefer something in a box to His precious fruit.

It was all so easy and effortless to indulge in all the sparkly, shiny, pretty, tasty things…and so it was easy to overdue it. But it wasn’t until we got sick and lonely from not gathering at the table with our friends that we began waking up to the fact that a steady diet of this was probably not a good idea – that many of our conveniences were killing our bodies and our spirits.

And so we started to listen, and our body became a barometer for what felt good and what didn’t because that was a clear way to reach us. Slowly we began to eat differently. Many found their way back to cooking and eating together – not every night – since this was too much of a stretch for most modern people – but more than before, and that was a good thing.

One day we noticed that the fog that once clouded our way began to lift and when it did, we rediscovered the joy, the healing, eating together brings. The nourishment that we crave, we soon learned, comes from preparing and sharing a meal even more than the food itself.

Eating, we realized, is Nature’s way of ensuring that we play together, tell our stories, listen, cry and laugh with each other while we sit at the same table.

And here, in this fable, lies a way for us to tune into eating without guilt guided by our intuition, inspiring us to share our meals as a joyful, playful act.

May this inspire you to think about eating differently – not what you eat, but how you eat.

Silvia

 

Over to you: Does this make sense?

Share your thoughts in the comments below.

 

 

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18 Responses to Why We Really Need to Eat

  1. Andrea November 7, 2014 at 2:52 am #

    This is absolutely beautiful, Silvia. And so very true. There are few things that nourish me more than sitting around a table sharing a meal and stories and laughter and sometimes tears with people I love or am just growing to love. Thank you so much for articulating the importance of this so well!

    • chefsilvia November 7, 2014 at 5:28 am #

      Oh, I’m so glad you think so Andrea. Thank you so much for your comment. Makes me glad I finally decided to post it.

  2. Ardith November 7, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    Great article, Sylvia. For me, it points out why I always envied (good way) the Italian families in my home community, later in NYC, the way food and company and joy got linked together. For this only kid who did manage to eat meals with mom and dad every day till leaving home at 18, it was sad-sweet to be invited to some huge family meals (huge in # of people as well as food!), especially at holiday time or for special occasions. All in all, a positive experience. And no Italian grandma or mamma or aunt would THINK of serving those “sparkly, shiny, pretty, tasty things.” Home cooked or nothing at all was how it went. And I’m so glad it did, too. Even tho these days I eat mostly alone, I agree with all you said and have a word to other “solitaries” out there. You’re never alone. When you sit down to your meal, think of all the millions of fellow beings sitting down to the table all over the planet at just that moment. You are indeed part of the Communal Table. Thanks, Sylvia, for your wisdoms and your food!

    • chefsilvia November 12, 2014 at 2:36 am #

      Thank you so much for your beautiful comment Ardith. Yes, when we join in Spirit, we’re never alone!

  3. Melissa November 12, 2014 at 3:25 am #

    OMG LOVE this Silvia!! You nailed it girl! Such truth and insight right here, absolutely beautiful, cute and serious all at the same time. Thank YOU!

    • chefsilvia November 12, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

      Oh…so glad you share the insight!

  4. liane November 12, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

    Beautiful! I love this perspective. I can’t wait to share this with my family tonight, while we eat together as a family. I love the focus on “how” we eat, not “what” we eat.

    • chefsilvia November 12, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

      Wow Liane, This makes my heart sing!

  5. Susan November 12, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

    Love this so true! What a beautiful perception shift! And that feast looks great xmas eve 7 fishes?

    • chefsilvia November 12, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

      Actually Susan, it’s a stock photo…my Christmas Eve photos are a little messier. But I do have some amazing dishes for the 7 fishes which I’ll write about next month. It’s my favorite meal of the year!

      • Susan November 12, 2014 at 10:24 pm #

        Ha! Well they look like they’re having a good time! I can’t WAIT for your dishes! We actually haven’t done it in years now ever since my grandmother passed, but it was always one of my faves. Maybe we should bring it back in honor of this article :)

  6. nichole November 14, 2014 at 10:05 am #

    I love how eating together brings people together and creates bonds.
    Thank you for the reminder Silvia.

  7. Stacey November 14, 2014 at 8:56 pm #

    Nailed it – so many people get caught up in the logistics, the minor details, and the “meal plans” or “macros” that they forget about what true nourishment means! I love your perspective and your stance on using intuition even when eating!

    • chefsilvia November 14, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

      That’s right Stacey! Why don’t we just eat what we like, without guilt and celebrate our joining at the table!

  8. april November 15, 2014 at 8:41 am #

    “Eating, we realized, is Nature’s way of insuring that we play together, tell our stories, listen, cry and laugh with each other while we sit at the same table.”

    such a beautiful sentiment, silvia (and especially delightful for an eating disorders recovery coach to read). thank you for this loveliness.

  9. Court November 19, 2014 at 12:58 am #

    Silvia,

    Every time I read your blog, I feel simultaneously hungry and fulfilled! Thank you for this, it is absolutely beautiful : )

  10. Camesha | Mama Motivator December 5, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

    I love his post. It’s just got warm goodness all through it. It’s a great reminder to slow down. All the conveniences in life really aren’t so convenient. They cause us to miss so much good. :)

    • chefsilvia December 8, 2014 at 1:30 am #

      Thank you Camesha for your sweet comment!!

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