I love food. I enjoy Italian, Chinese, Mexican and French. I love burgers, pizza, brisket and broccoli. When I sit down at the table, I savor every bite, every delicious morsel, every last drop.Over the years, I've made numerous attempts to rein in my eating habits. I tried to switch to healthier foods. I tried to eat more vegetables. I tried to stop frying everything. I tried to use less butter, less salt, less fat.I like to think that I'm usually successful at most things I undertake; but, when it came to my attempts to alter my diet, I have failed every time. One of the problems is that I am a good cook. So are my friends and family. So are the cooks in the restaurants around town. I know that self control is the real problem; but, I'm just upset that I don't want to take control if it interferes with my enjoyment of food.Recently, I bought all of the cookbooks by Bobby and Jamie Dean (Paula Dean's sons). I've been updating my cooking skills by trying out some of their recipes, experimenting with sauces, preparation techniques and ingredient substitution. I've been having a great time, and most of the time, the food has been pretty darn good.So, what to do to stop eating so much?I tried the Atkins diet for a while several years ago. I loved eating meat, eggs and butter. But, I found I was missing bread. I tried to look at eliminating processed foods. But, I love the convenience of not having to do everything from scratch every time I cook. And, as much as I love good food, I've got to admit that I also love pan-fried Spam sandwiches.I tried to increase my activity level to compensate for my food intake. Of course, I found that the harder I work, the bigger my appetite gets. Oddly enough, even when I get a cold or the flu, I rarely lose my appetite. If food ever stops tasting good to me, I've probably headed so far down the path of the living that I won't have many meals remaining.I grew up with a mother that knew how to cook southern, country food. The meals of fried deer meat with fried okra and mashed potatoes fueled us up for a life of working in the field. We consumed milk by the gallon, went through loaves of bread, and could empty the freezer of pork chops and hamburger meat. We were fortunate that we raised a lot of the food that we ate. We had fresh vegetables. We had beef, pork, chicken, venison and turkey. Mama even let us get adventurous on occasion and cooked up the frog legs that we had stalked and killed.Now, I push my cart through the grocery store, filling it with packages, boxes and cans. Even the fresh produce comes out of boxes and goes into wispy plastic sacks for the checkout. It seems that my meals, even when I'm making them from scratch, now rely on packaged items to be complete. Somehow, it's not the same as running to the garden to pick the best ears of corn, the ripest okra and the juiciest tomatoes.When I'm picking out chops, or chicken breasts, I no longer know about the animal that supplied my bounty, and I miss that. There is something inherently comforting in knowing exactly where you food was produced, how it was grown, and how it got to your table. One of the many things I always loved about watching my mother cook was that it was all automatic with her. She had done the routine so many times, she already knew what she had to do, when it had to be done, and what she would need. She also knew exactly what she had on hand and made adjustments when needed to get a meal on the table.I love to eat. In spite of the loss of the freshness, in spite of the lack of involvement, in spite of the sterility of the ingredients,,,, I still love to eat. I guess I'll have to try something else to lose weight!
It’s all just my opinion.