What? Are you CRAZY Ashley? How could you just eat FRESH for a whole month?
Well, that's what I am doing, and I wanted to share my insights from the week and half that has gone by. Not insights into what I am eating or why I am have a FRESH January, but more-so my observations into what thoughts have come to me during this process. PS: I am eating mostly fresh and uncooked fruits and vegetables for the month of January - super amazing in the Aussie summer (who wants soup when it's hot???).
Observation 1: Food cravings and food psychology:
How often do you have a food craving? This month so far has highlighted to me, that it is ALMOST hourly we feel like eating something in particular. Be it rice, a roast potato (my most common one the last 12 days) or some of those comfort foods like pizza's or burgers. The psychology of food is such an interesting topic, and it is fascinating how our mind houses the control processes to bring forth cravings, I know I find myself reaching for snacks during the day - but do I really NEED that snack?!
Another thought that came to me that fits under this observation is how the pleasure and obsession that our culture has with food. It is so well embedded in our psyches from a young age - but it's mostly mental. One that stands out for me is how I associate feelings of love and fun with the less healthy foods, growing up, it wasn't very common to see a spread of delicious whole foods at a party! This is one to take note of, watch how your mind behaves with food today, and see what dish comes to mind when you think - TREATS, or PARTY or SAD.
Observation 2: Harvesting fresh and eating fresh:
Oh boy, this has been so cool! I've been lucky to have a garden that has survived some of the heat this summer and I've been harvesting fresh plus buying some incredible fresh produce from the markets (and Fresh Box!). This time of year is the best time for fruit and the vegetables just have a little extra crunch and oomph to them. I feel so blessed AND lucky that I live in a climate and a country that affords me this bounty. This month has taught me even more gratitude for living in the beautiful Sunshine Coast, thank you sun, rain and the amazing plants that grow here!
Eating fresh meals is normally not an everyday thing, some days I only eat cooked food (which is totally fine by the way!), the cool thing is we humans, or maybe more specifically, our palates, adjust VERY quickly! You absolutely CAN truly delight in the taste of fresh veggies if you know how to adjust your palate.
Observation 3: Taking food for granted:
At least three times a day we put this thing called food in our mouths, chew, swallow and digest. One thing I have noticed in the last week, is I have been more intentional with my eating and my meal prep. I must admit, whilst I work in the kitchen a lot, I had been taking food for granted. Eating distracted, cooking distracted and finding myself eating what I want, when I want. So, I've started peeling back the layers on this, to give more gratitude to food, food truly is precious, alongside sun, sleep and breathing, it is key to fuelling us in our daily life.
This process so far has brought myself back to being more more mindful and respectful at each meal. Preparing with care and enjoying the flavours and textures that nature has provided!