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I recently visited some family in Southern California and went to one of my favorite cafes in Santa Monica. I love the fresh, real food and the crazy OMG-who-do-I-have-to-sucker-punch-to-get-a-table-around-here atmosphere. Plus, let’s be real – the desserts are pretty good too (Coconut Pound Cake, I’m looking at you!). But that’s not the point of the story.
After waiting in line, we ordered and communicated some game time table wrangling strategies (“Okay, you stay at this table near the trashcan, and I’ll go see if there is one that is a little less ‘fragrant.’ If I don’t come back in 2 minutes, come looking for me – Not because an urbanite foodie killed me, but because I found a good table.”)
After a few minutes, we found our table and sat down with our coffees anticipating some delicious food and dessert. While waiting, I noticed Urth’s advertisement of its “Rising Sun Boba,” which it touted as “Urth’s New Healthy Energy Drinks!” Sitting there on the table it screamed “3 POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANTS IN ONE!” in giant, all red caps. I looked at the advertisement and realized that it was totally ridiculous. Not because no one should ever eat boba with Matcha green tea and chocolate (no judgment here!) but because the ad made me feel like I had to rationalize eating whatever I put in my mouth. I couldn’t just have green tea or chocolate (or coconut cake for that matter). No, I had to be eating “POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANTS.” I couldn’t just enjoy boba (Yes, people, chewy tapioca balls in a sugary beverage is enjoyable). No, I had to be imbibing a healthy energy drink. And G-d forbid I try to enjoy a little bit of coconut cake without reason (“Umm…this cake is actually healthy because it’s got coconut, which is a fruit … errr a nut?? … and uhh…”).
Can’t we just eat food that we really enjoy?
I don’t know about you, but I’m kinda over eating like a Puritan (Although apparently some historians argue Puritans ate better than we do today and even enjoyed eating dessert). Yes, we should eat healthy. Yes, I will eat healthy. And when I wanna have a boba drink that is loaded with chocolate or eat a piece of delectable coconut cake (mmm…saturated fat!) on occasion, then I will. And I will relish it. And that is totally okay. And healthy.
Just to prove I’m not talking crazy here, a recent study demonstrated that savoring your food can help with weight loss even when you eat whatever you want. This is a big deal since Americans say they enjoy eating less now than they did decades ago, and this disinterest in food has been associated with obesity.
What this means is that we can be healthier people just by savoring our food. So next time you eat, sit down at the table. Put a napkin on your lap and TURN OFF YOUR PHONE (that’s what should have been in red caps in the Urth ad). Relax, inhale the tantalizing smell of your food, and enjoy every bite. Bonus if you can find someone to share your dessert with.
Cheers and enjoy!