I thought seriously about the way I was eating before my operation as I wanted to be in the best health possible in order to face major surgery.

If you are fortunate to have a more stable lifestyle, more education and more income, then you are able to make more informed choices about what you shop, cook and eat. You can afford better quality food and have more diverse food experiences, entertain, eat out and travel. This has been at the forefront of my mind while writing this blog.

I realise my inherent privilege in being educated, middle class, and comfortably off so that I don’t have to count every penny I spent on food. I have the space, equipment, knowledge and ability to prepare it.  I shop in the supermarkets on my local High Street and a nearby market.

Radicchio, orange and Gorgonzola saladSigne Johansen’s radicchio, orange and Gorgonzola salad

This is what I decided to do:-

  • to eat three meals a day at regular times
  • to not snack imbetween meals
  • to eat food that was nutritionally dense
  • to eat more fish and seafood
  • to eat more vegetarian meals
  • to eat more whole grains, beans and lentils and to cut down on refined carbohydrate
  • to eat a diverse selection of vegetables and fruit each day
  • to eat pudding, dessert and cake only at the weekend and when out and even then, I could say ‘no thank you’
  • to only make a cake at home when it was someone’s birthday or at a celebration such as Easter

Anne Shooter's chicken with bulgur wheat, walnuts and pomegranate
Anne Shooter’s chicken with bulgur wheat, walnuts and pomegranate

I have always followed the debate about “healthy eating”,   “good” and “bad” foods  and “different diets”. This is what I concluded.

  • Everyone need to eat. It’s life sustaining and it can’t be given up like drugs or alcohol.
  • Food is love. It’s caring and sharing. Sitting round a table, sharing food with family and friends is one of life’s greatest pleasures. When you take the time, to sit down and eat food on your own, you are nurturing yourself.
  • There is now so much obfuscation and privilege and emotion bound up with simply eating food.
  • If you are hungry, any food is a good food.
  • No food is healthy or unhealthy. It’s just food.
  • Eating food shouldn’t be about excluding food groups (unless you have a diagnosed medical condition).
  • Eating food isn’t about having ‘treats’.
90th lemon birthday cake ready for transporting 100 miles
90th lemon birthday cake ready for transporting 100 miles

I thought about where I shopped for food and how to eat sustainably and seasonally. There isn’t a row of independent shops near my house where I can shop, complete with wicker basket in which to pop my purchases. In fact, I couldn’t carry a lot as it hurt my knee.

Hake with roasted vegetables
Hake with roasted vegetables

When, I think about it, I’ve had the same philosophy all my life, taught by my mother how to shop sensibly and how to cook, and in turn, teaching my two daughters to do the same.

Feta, tomato and couscous salad, hummus and avocado saladGoats cheese, tomato and giant couscous salad, hummus and avocado salad

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