Last weekend during the barrage of football games on TV, and in a post-Thanksgiving dish-washing abstention, our family decided to have a pizza night. My 92-year old great-uncle joined us and about halfway through the meal he looked at me and said, “So what does our dietitian make of this meal?”
As I finished my slice of pizza I looked at him and said, “Ya know, sometimes you eat for business, and sometimes you eat for pleasure. And this meal is for pleasure.” He smiled, nodded, and reached for another slice.
Despite living through the Great Depression and never counting a calorie in his life, even my great-uncle is cognizant of our society’s interest in all things food and weight-related. He drinks his green tea at breakfast because he likes it and smiled when he found it was a purported cancer-fighter. He prefers homemade chicken soup but won’t hesitate to order Chinese or Mexican take-out if the mood strikes. But in this high-tech world obsessed with body image, food beliefs, and all things related, the concept of business vs pleasure seemed to sum it up okay for him.
In life we have moments for both – times when we need to do the work which pays the bills, and times when we need to take a break. There are some meals which can be approached with a very business-like mentality, such as making sure you get enough protein, vegetables, fats, and carbohydrates for health and wellness purposes. But sometimes a meal really needs to tap into that vacation mode or pleasure factor. Occasionally the two will converge, but make no mistake, just like we need a balance of both in life, we need a balance of both in eating