Friday, January 25, 2013

Back to Basics -- Simple Pleasures

Not everything is about elaborate, clever recipes.  It's easy, particularly since I've been low carbing so long -- ten years on March 13, 2013 -- to get more intricate, more imaginative, more experimental.  And that's not a bad thing, because to me the worst thing ever is falling into a food rut and "settling" for something simply because it's low carb and a familiar, known quantity.  I make a conscious effort to do and try new things.

But sometimes it's good to go back to the well and discover, to my surprise, just how good simple things are.  An avocado half with salt.  Tuna salad scooped up with pork rinds.  Jicama sticks and homemade bleu cheese dip.  A plate of cheese to be nibbled with hot tea.  Deviled eggs.  These things aren't something I settle for because they're low carb, or even because they're low carb and easy.  They're things that taste good.

Last night the hubby and I ate at Cracker Barrel.  I love this place because it's one of the few restaurants that still has specifically low-carb sections on both their breakfast and lunch/dinner menus.  Paul had their "grilled roast beef" (a/k/a pot roast), a tossed salad with ranch dressing, and some of their wonderful hammy turnip greens.  I had spicy grilled catfish fillets (delicious, juicy and sweet, 0 carbs) and three, yes, three, servings of turnip greens (2g carbs each) because my catfish came with three sides.  I can't speak for Paul, but my dinner was absolutely perfect, satisfying, delicious and filling and I envied nobody in the world their dinner.

Stop and savor what you're eating.  It doesn't have to be fancy and elaborate.  Choose quality ingredients -- good, fresh, raw ingredients -- prepare your food properly, and it'll be tasty.  But do yourself a favor and appreciate it.  Are you so busy missing bread that you're not paying attention to how tender and juicy the chicken you're eating is?  Are you trying so hard to pretend that your spaghetti squash is pasta that you're missing that delicious nutty/sweet squash flavor?  Are you wishing so hard for french fries that you don't notice the delicious crunch of just-barely-sauteed zucchini?

If you've been away from sugar for a while, you may notice to your surprise how much sweeter ordinary foods (like, say, broccoli) taste.  You'll notice layers of flavors you never noticed before.  Maybe, like me, you'll find yourself liking foods you used to hate.  Or maybe you'll just rediscover a new enjoyment of foods you already like.

Slow down.  Taste.  Savor.  Immerse yourself.

And every now and then, touch base with simple pleasures.

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