By Danielle Jimmie
If you know me, or if you’ve ever met me, or even ever been near me, you probably know I that I love food. I love to eat it, cook it, even grow it (or at least attempt to keep some herbs alive on my fire escape). On our honeymoon, Greg and I planned our days & site seeing in Paris based on where we wanted to eat. I mean, Paris is the food capital of the world, right? Have you seen their bread? *drool* Needless to say, I love to eat and there really isn’t a type of food I don’t love.
Over the years my eating habits of evolved and changed. My older brother is diabetic, so growing up I wasn’t allowed to eat much sugar or “junk food” which, to my mother’s dismay, was pretty much the only thing I actually wanted to eat (I was a picky eater as a kid). We also lived in a pretty small town that had approximately 3 restaurants, none of which we frequented. Eating out just wasn’t something we did. Once I went to college, I had my freedom to eat whatever I wanted and from wherever I wanted. Lucky Charms & nachos for dinner? Why not? Order dominos at 2 am? Sounds like a great idea. Turns out, it wasn’t a great idea and nobody can survive on that sort of diet. And to think, I wondered why I was sick all the time in college. Needless to say, I learned that maybe my mom was actually right all those years, refusing to buy me Coco Puffs.
Now I think I’ve found my happy medium of what a balanced (ish) diet looks like for me. Generally, I try to stick to things that God created (veggies, fruits, meats, whole grains) and set a budget for eating out. I admit, I can be a total sucker for the latest & greatest food trends though. Did I need to spend all that money on Spirulina Powder? No. I don’t care that it has more protein per gram than meat or beans, it smells and tastes like feet and I will not be eating it again. And on the other hand, sometimes I just want go to Tasty Burger and order the Big Tasty and a basket of onions rings. But that’s balance, am I right?
I could sit here and tell you that you need to eat 50 grams of greens, 8 ounces of fiber and 100 grams of protein a day, but I’m not you. You know what your body needs to feel good, and I have zero idea – I literally just made up those numbers. BUT what I do know, is that the way we think about eating is kind of important and Jesus actually cares about it too. So, here is what I think is important to remember when thinking about food:
- What we eat is important – In scripture it says our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. We need our bodies to working well so we can serve and love Jesus with our whole strength. That means I need to make sure my temple is getting all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, carbs, etc, that it needs to be strong and healthy so I can run the race worth running. If I eat a giant plate of nachos on a Saturday night, I know I am not going to be able to bring my best Sunday morning because I know that I will feel sluggish and tired because I ate way too much greasy cheese. The food I eat affects my ability to serve Jesus, so its important to make sure we make healthy choices.
- Remember that Jesus loves to eat – I always find myself wondering what Jesus’ favorite meal was while on Earth. I mean, he lived on the Mediterranean, have you eaten Mediterranean food? Olives, fresh fish, feta cheese, roasted lamb, hmm I’m hungry just thinking about it. One of the first things Jesus did after raising from the dead was to cook his disciples breakfast. Jesus loved a good meal and loved sharing it with friends. While, yes, getting your daily dose of veggies is important, so is finding joy in what you’re eating. I have found myself getting too focused on making sure I have enough vegetables every day and not eating too much sugar that I forget to savor and enjoy the food I am eating. God created food for our nourishment AND enjoyment. I’m going to be obedient on that one and enjoy it.
- Proverbs 15:17 says “A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.” King Solomon was the wisest man to walk the earth, so you know its true. In the end of the day, the fancy health trends don’t matter and you might not remember the expensive meals out. It matters who you are sitting across from sharing that meal. In a time in my life when I didn’t have much, eating leftovers on the floor of an empty apartment without any silverware but with a good friend was all I needed.
- Make a budget – Just do it. Eating out is fun. It can be expensive, but if you have a budget set aside for it already, it gives you the freedom to go out. I used to think budgets were restricting, but I’ve actually found that they bring so much freedom. When you know you have X amount of dollars per month for something, its says “yes, spend that money!” instead of leaving you to worry you won’t have enough. Additionally, a budget does give you healthy boundaries, sometimes healthy food can be expensive, and if we can’t always make it work with our budgets, that’s okay.
I could honestly go on and on, but I’ll leave you here with this. Food is delicious and meant to be enjoyed with loved ones. It affects our bodies physically, mentally and spiritually, so eat some veggies, but don’t stress about it.
For good measure, here are some of my favorite places to eat around Boston, in no particular order and for no other reason than because I can and maybe someone reading this will be inspired to take me out to eat here (wink, wink):
- Sofra Bakery & Cafe– Pretty sure this would also be Jesus’ favorite place to eat. It’s Middle Eastern baked goods and savory dishes and everything is amazing. Its tiny, but worth lingering around to steal someone’s seat.
- Tatte Bakery – If Jesus couldn’t find a seat at Sofra, he’d go to Tatte and he’d order the Shakshuka with the lamb meatballs. There are more than 10 locations through out the city, so you generally aren’t far from tasty treats.
- Tasty Burger – The one next to Fenway Park is the only one worth going to, and you have to get the Big Tasty and the onion rings, then put the onion rings on the burger. Thank me later.
- Comedor – After spontaneously going there one Tuesday night for no particular reason, it was the best accidental discovery. The Spicy Pistachio Chicken Wings sound kind of weird, but wow, so good.
- Pomodoro – I’m going to have to thank my parents for this one. They recommended it to me and they were not wrong. Wow. Its in the north end and it some of the best Italian food I’ve eaten and the service is great.
Okay – that’s it for now, but seriously, I will go out to eat with you any day.