>Food issues.

>Hi, my name is Liz and I’m a food-committophobe.

Hi Liz!

It’s not that I can’t commit to food as a whole. Heck, I’ve been with food longer than any relationship. (Except my mother, of course. In fact I can truly blame food and my mother for being two of the major influences on my character.) I love food. Food and I are like this. The problem is that “food routine” frightens me.

I can’t do diets where my meals are planned in advance according to a book or plan. The South Beach Diet lost me after the first two weeks when I started substituting ingredients for whatever was in the kitchen (and “whatever” usually had more fat and calories in it). And those diets where you eat the same food for breakfast and lunch followed by a healthy dinner? Puh-leeze.

I can’t always “schedule-in” food. Planning a meal with friends is one thing, but traveling is another. On a recent trip to Seattle I picked, in advance, a great restaurant that I had to visit- everything else was siteseeing. That said, I stumbled upon many great little cafes and restaurants and was taken to some good spots. When I travel alone, food is something to do when I’ve walked myself to exhaustion and fed my eyes and soul. Only then can I properly enjoy a meal. When I’m out with other folks I rely on them to tell me when it’s time to eat, because left to my own devices I could walk all day. Food is rest, relaxation and reflection. Italy is the David, the Blue Grotto, Pompeii, Milanese fashion… and then gelato.

I know breakfast is important and I should really make time for it, but I don’t want the same cold cereal every morning. There’s only one cereal I can stand more than one bowl of and occasionally I have to break it up with a nice greasy egg and bacon fry-up or a waffle. Mmmm… waffles.

I can only buy instant stuff (tea, oatmeal, cocoa, energy bars, etc.) if it comes in a variety pack. There are, for example, a million and one flavors of tea, and although I am charmed by the idea of marriage and sex with one man for the rest of my life, I will not be married to one cup of tea. Ever.

And if someone asks or meme’s me about a favorite food? In my answers I’m lying. There I said it and I feel better. I don’t have a favorite food- I have dozens and they rotate. If I were a deathrow inmate my last meal would be very very large and require getting on a few transcontinental flights.

I don’t have a specialty. Recently we had a round-robin series of dinners in which the first person invited everyone to their home to show how to cook their specialty. For my turn I made something I had never tried before because sometimes it’s just more fun to jump into the void. But if pressed, I guess I could whip together a batch of baked spaghetti off the top of my head…

Revisiting restaurants more than twice drives me batty. The thing about being broke is that it makes you adventurous and not a little bit picky: if I am low on cash the last thing I want to do is go to the same darn place I went to last week. I want to try something new! When I go out to a restaurant I go for their specialty so that if I never go back I had a great meal.

In the end, committed or not, it’s not just about eating to get food in my body, or eating for nourishment, it’s about savouring, enjoying, experiencing, stepping out of the familiar. I figure, I go to work each day, spend 8 hours at my desk, with the same group of lovely people, doing essentially the same thing, staring at the same view out my window (of the Washington Monument and the Capitol dome- tiny but beautiful), etc. That’s enough committment for one woman.

Unless you know a tea baron you want to introduce me to.

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