Vignettes on Aging – Food

Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but as we age, we can become more selective about and sensitive to what we eat.

Remember when food was easy? We could eat just about anything and have it be healthy enough to carry us through our days? If we ate more junk food than not or drank too much, we might not feel fabulous, but we could get the job done. Ahh, those were the days.

Remember eating on the fly? What about preventative eating where you’d eat now even though you weren’t hungry because it’d be hours and hours before you could eat again? Sometimes we fuel up if we’re having a medical test where we can’t eat for at least twelve hours before the procedure.

We’ve seen entire vacations that focus on food, like many cruises or culinary trips abroad. And, of course, we can’t mention food without at least putting dieting out there, which we’re not going to say more about except that we all know it to be a big part of eating (or not eating) for many.

Also, the role of food changes with different cultures. There are lots of family gatherings in our country that are created around the enjoyment of a shared food experience but probably not as much as in European and Asian cultures.

Eating is a celebration, and food alone without the fanfare can comfort and soothe. It can nurture and reward and all the complicated things it does when we abuse it just like any other addiction. It’s complicated, yet simple.

As we age, our relationship with food changes. Eating certain foods can be challenging or may lead to deleting those items from our diets entirely. Whether you spend hours and hours in the kitchen preparing a special meal with love and lots of hard work, or whether you save up for months to splurge on a meal at the swankiest restaurant with the most delicious and carefully prepared menu, food and eating are special parts of our lives.

Has your relationship with food changed since you’ve gotten older? Are there foods you used to love to serve and eat that now are off the list for one reason or another? Perhaps you feel all that preparation and saving up is too much, and the simpler and healthier for the least cost is the path you’ve chosen now and going forward.

What are your thoughts about food?