Here is a true story about me, how I learned to live the philosophy of 70/30, the artful balance of a healthful and happy life.
In my second year of college I really began delving into the studies of food as medicine, and I was loving it. Cooking macrobiotic foods, with no refined sugars or dairy, no meat, and I loved how I felt. I loved the mastery of health giving foods like seaweed and miso, and the process of transforming solitary ingredients into a full meal. I was 20, an active dancer, and I cooked almost all my own food in my dorm kitchens – I was mainly always in control of my food, and thus my body. As a performer, my body awareness was very high.
However, I was living in my own body bubble. I did not unwind on social occasions but rather felt fearful of changing my control routine. I often felt uncomfortable that what I wanted to eat didn’t overlap with what others ate. My family didn’t know what to cook for me, let alone what to do with me in that phase!
At home for Thanksgiving that year, my oldest sister had an intervention with me. She took me in another room away from the family and said “Abby, you are not going to die if you eat a bite of Grandma’s pie. Seriously. It’s just one bite of pie.”
And she was right. Not that I let her know that at the time. Did I mention I’m an Aries? Stubborn ram.
I was eating the healthiest foods by myself, and I was not cooking with anyone. Or for anyone, really.
I didn’t truly understand what my sister meant until years later in cooking school at the Natural Gourmet Institute of Food and Health in New York. The school owner, Anne Marie Colbin addressed this topic of socially appropriate balance in class, and it finally made sense.
Even when a dish is not the healthiest for your body, if it is prepared and offered to you with love, then you can allow your body to accept it, and you will be nourished. As long as it’s not a true allergy, these are your 30% occasions to breathe in, say thank you, and prepare your body to enjoy and accept what you are about to eat.
This was just the first of many realizations about the subtle power of transforming food. Not just the food itself, but what happens when someone takes raw ingredients and makes it into something to share with others. Especially with loved ones. Check out Michael Pollan’s new book to see what I mean. He’s got my back.
So yes, there is some magic in Grandma’s pie. And there is great reason to feel gratitude, not attitude, when receiving it.
My Nana and Grandpa, pictured here.
From plant and sun, to farmer and loving cook, breathe in and allow yourself to enjoy! Then, go back home and make some super delicious, love-your-body soup.
And if you know that you can’t just eat pie in moderation and need to bring your own treat, try this amazing pumpkin flan.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and soak it all in!