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Archive for the tag “preferences”

Healthy Summer Food

Summer foodIt is quite difficult in those scorching summer months to find something light yet filling to eat and satisfy your taste buds. Because under the heat and the need to simply relax and do as little as possible, cooking becomes one of our lesser-thought-of chores. It is during the summer, though, that we re-consider our nutrition choices and re-instate the determination to eat healthy.

The summer months have the added value of offering a wide range of succulent and ripe fruit and vegetables, which we can use in all sorts of combinations and recipes, with exquisite results.

This is when being a vegetarian pays off, because of the abundance of options broadly available.

Take for example this all-natural recipe (photo): potatoes, aubergines and courgettes, cut in thin layers and lightly cooked, placed below a layer of slowly-cooked natural tomato purée. Best served with feta cheese and fresh bread.

But why would your choice of nutrition have to be seen as a handicap? Why is it that in some places, when you say you don’t eat meat, you are treated as someone who is picky, quirky and fussy? Why is it that when you ask for a “special meal”, due to your vegetarian needs – whatever reason these may come by – you are suddenly presented with some water-boiled vegetables, as if that is the only thing that may be available to your “demanding requirements”?

It is actually not very difficult to cook up food that can suit everyone’s dietary needs. All it takes is some imagination and some compromise. By accommodating nutritional preferences, it would also demonstrate respect for people’s options and choices.

It may be a small thing, but such issues open up even bigger ones, underlining the need to relish in the passions we share, as well as accept the differences that characterize us.

We all have different levels of intelligence, perspectives, tolerance, and patience. And it is true that nobody is perfect, but in our own little ways, we all to some extent can touch upon our own version of perfection.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Perfection

…And some pasta

shopping basketThere was a supermarket rush this week. Everyone for some reason or the other was hastily grabbing a shopping basket (or cart), stacking it up and then waiting endless minutes in line at the cashier to pack it all away and leave.

But that wasn’t the interesting part.

The most remarkable trait of this whole incident was what everyone was shopping.

And this largely also depended on the age group they were in.

For example, the two twenty somethings who had come in as if they had just emerged from a hippy concert at the beach somewhere, had filled their basket with snacks, beer, chips, biscuits, sausages, and some pasta.

Yet, the elegantly dressed woman in her forties in the next queue preferred to load up on fruit, frozen vegetables, meat, bread and crackers, olive oil, milk, and some pasta.

The much older 97-year old man who grabbed the opportunity offered by the long wait to start a conversation, had instead selected lentils and beans, some fruit, some canned foodstuff, and some pasta.

So what can be deduced by all this? It is all a matter of perspective – and age. It is also interesting to note how you tend to change nutritional values as you grow older. But maybe one thing is for sure: pasta is ever-lasting…

Paper books or e-readers?

books vs ebooksWith so many things to read nowadays, we often get lost not only in the material but in the medium of reading. You see people reading constantly and everywhere – paper books, magazines, newspapers, on tablets, phablets, e-readers, phones. Choosing the right medium is not simply a matter of preference, it is also of convenience. So what do you prefer, a paper book or an e-reader?

Don’t get me wrong, I love my Kindle (for many more reasons beyond its practicality), but there is just something else present in a real paper book that cannot be replaced by any screen. And it is not just the excitement of getting your hands on a new book every once in a while (because, really, how many times are you going to buy an e-reader?).

In an era that sees the rapid rise of a “screen culture” we often need to take time off any and every screen. It is just not natural. And it is unhealthy being stuck in front of a screen all day. Get your hands on a book, flick through its pages, smell that odour of print and paper, rub the rough yellow sheets between your fingers, roll your hands over the indentations of the cover, mark the page you left off, feel the agony, work and inspiration that were involved in making that book, and let the magic radiating from each and every page carry you away.

Of course, you can still read the same book on an e-reader, but this digital medium just won’t allow you to completely engage in the relationship between book and reader. Sure, it is more convenient in many ways – for example, e-books are cheaper than paper ones; you can carry your e-reader anywhere at any time, having with you an abundance of books all at once; and quite significantly, you can read anything anywhere surreptitiously without being afraid of being judged, as it is impossible to see what you’re reading and can thus saturate your curiosity for a range of genres.

Reading a book is not just a past-time. It is an experience. A journey into another world. It is a way of getting lost without even moving from your couch. And it is one that will enrich your life.

So in essence, it doesn’t really matter where you read something, just as long as you immerse yourself fully into it. You’ll never regret it. (Unless it is a really bad book, but that’s another story).

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