By KIMBERLY ANDERSON
Kimberly’s blog focuses on a single objective each month intended to help her and her readers take baby steps toward better living in the spirit of New Southerner. You can keep up with her progress by checking her weekly blog, Baby Steps. She welcomes reader response and hopes you’ll share your stories and challenges in the comments section or by e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September Objective: Sustainable Body
Something strange has occurred to me in my quest to eat better food. I feel a certain heaviness, and not just in my butt. It’s in my heart.
My husband returned from the grocery near our condo at Myrtle Beach with a can of coffee that boasts using 30 percent of its beans from endeavors to preserve the economy of rainforests so we stop chopping them down. It was the closest he could find to the principles by which I am trying to live. The idea is that if we pour money into supporting the impoverished natives, they can find a viable means of taking care of themselves without succumbing to leveling rainforests.
I am humbled by the idea that I search for a pleasant, healthy food experience while so many throughout the world struggle just to eat. Sorry to be so depressing, but imagine feeling this way on vacation. Every bite feels like self-condemnation.
A few nights ago, we ate at a local restaurant. I couldn’t help but notice other vacationers shoveling in mounds of food. I’m not being overly judgmental. I had to fight to chew every bite. I have no doubt that food was created to enjoy, with such natural treasures as honey, fruit and spice. But I think I should treat the act of eating with more reverence.
Baby Step 3: Slow down the act of eating, enjoy, and let nothing go to waste
If you say a blessing before you eat, mean it. Greet food with thankfulness and reverence. Chew every bite, enjoy the flavors. Understand the sacrifices made—the people who dedicate their work to provide and, if you are of that conscience, the cost in animals and transportation. And, by God, eat the leftovers!