Simple Pleasure #14: The Food in Europe
( Giant Seabass Steak panfried with Safron Salt at La Mediterranee )
I am in love with Europe… and the food.
I am completely aware that I only visited a small portion but it was enough to have me hooked. I think it’s maybe the relaxed feeling one may experience there. They seem to operate at a slower pace. As soon as I landed in San Diego I felt as if I hit the ground running, everything and everybody just speeding by. In Europe I loved how people took the time to eat. I mentioned in another post, 7 things I learned in Europe how I never saw anyone carrying a to-go coffee mug. Yes, meals may have taken us a couple hours to complete but I never left the table feeling like I just stuffed a large turkey down my throat. I noticed that I chewed slower, payed attention to the different textures and flavors of the food, sipped my wine (I’m usually a fast drinker), laughed and really just enjoyed the moment. Loved it!!!
So now I’m back in San Diego. Life is a little faster but I have managed to bring back that since of relaxed meal time with me. I’ve made a new rule for myself – when I eat, I only eat. No computer, reading or driving. I sit and eat. It’s a healthy way to manage your weight and it’s so much easier on your digestive system. I also put down my fork when chewing so I don’t shovel the food in my mouth, I’ve been home now for two weeks… so far so good.
After my attention was drawn to the slower speed of things at the dining table I also fell in love with what sat in front of me… my food! Oh my my is the food delicious (keep in mind I spent most of my time in the South of France and northern/coastal Italy). We ate a lot of fish, a lot of chocolate croissants, a fair share of french bread, goat cheese salads of all sorts, pizza, pasta, crepes, gelato and most likely everything in between. I was on a mission to photograph my food but sometimes after it arrived at the table I was so excited that I forgot to take pictures. But I did manage to snap a few…
( “Medaillons Of Monkfish at La Mediterranee, Mougins France )
And do you want to know something crazy??? I lost weight. Some of it was muscle mass the other was body fat. I believe it was a combination of a couple things: taking the time to eat, being more present, I was happy, the food is fresh and without preservatives and not highly processed. Now I’m doing my best to maintain that way of eating back at home… minus the chocolate croissants and french bread.
So what’s my point? Besides the obvious that food in Europe has become one of my simple pleasures there is also a deeper message here… We have opportunities to grow and better ourselves everyday. The things that have me enjoy traveling are the things that sometimes I lack at home. If I find myself enjoying life or choosing healthier choices while traveling there is no reason to why I cannot bring that back with me. We get stuck in runts or the “rat race” of things and forget what excites us. Just because I’m back in San Diego doesn’t mean that I can’t slow down and enjoy my meals (or anything else for that matter). Traveling pushes us outside our comfort zones, we grow and learn and develop skills. So the next time you travel bring back that feeling of aliveness/happiness/freedom/whatever it is you experience back with you… work on trying to incorporate that feeling (or lessons learned) into your daily life. If you don’t like traveling… well then… love life anyway!
I’ll finish you off with a little more food porn…
( Crème Brûlée at the restaurant La Mediterranee in Mougins, France)
( Site seeing planning at Caffe Paszkowski in Florence’s oldest square )