Eat to Live or Survive 23/365

Do you know why you eat? Probably to stay alive, to have energy, because you love the taste of food……..

Scientifically, why do you eat? What happens when you eat? and if you knew all this would you change your eating habits? Would you see food in a better light?

I have a problem with food and over indulgence. I was a person who overindulged on food. Looking back on it, I think I was greedy. I cant change my past behaviour so I am just telling you how I have changed my behaviour. I dont see food in the same light. Yes I love to eat, but its different now. The reason I enjoy eating is mainly because of the company I enjoy it with.

Every evening I sit down with my boyfriend and either we cook together or he or I will cook, depending on which of us is working late. So sometimes its 9pm when we eat. But I eat happily in his company. I tell many clients to enjoy good food, with good company, and try not to eat on your own.

I spent a few years solo travelling, sometimes eating on my own. I loved eating everything weird and unusual in the different countries I visited. So much so I put on so much weight that even the steps and hiking couldn’t keep off. I was active but eating too much. But dont get me wrong I enjoyed it and I’m not sure if I would have done it any differently again if I had the chance. I even tried being a vegan. I worked night shifts in a bakery and ate so much bread and vegemite to keep me awake. I tried paleo. But I ate too much coconut flour and pancakes.

Vietnam fanclub
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Thailand with Hardie

The last big trip I took was in South East Asia for 3 months. I spent a few weeks in Seoul, South Korea to see my cousin Rory get married. The food in Korea was my favourite. Then I moved on to Vietnam - and I met up with a former housemate from Sydney who was a chef. So she showed me the markets and some really local foods to eat. I fell in love with the how they season and flavour their foods with herbs. I got robbed, a normal occurrence in Vietnam. They took my bag with my phone, passport, postcards and some cash and a notepad that helped retrieve my passport again. Then a trip to Thailand to sample the Pad Thai, and explore with my friend from Hawaii, Hardie, before hitting the poorer neighbours in Laos and Cambodia. Now the poverty in these countries really hit me. Honestly, when I returned to Ireland, I just saw things differently.

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Sharing in Cambodia

I appreciated the clothes I wore, the people I share my life with and the happiness in everyday. I lost the need to feel happy when I ate fancy food or bought the latest expensive gadget.

I probably got such a taste for flavour in these countries that its hard to find in Ireland. We go out rarely to eat fancy food, but when we do, my taste buds explode. We eat pretty basic at home most evenings, but its not about the food, its about the company. It releases any emotional attachment and expectation from food. I now eat to be in the company of another and share thoughts, opinions, jokes and a happy life.

……to be continued on the science part……

Louise Loughlin