This morning, while driving, i was blessed to catch a wonderful interview with Nigella Lawson on the radio!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE Nigella Lawson. Her cooking shows are rightly referred to as "food porn" as they highlight Nigella's utterly sensual connection to food, and her flirtatious descriptions of it.
Nigella, to me, is just the ultimate WOMAN! Curvy, rubenesque, sexy, absolutely gorgeous, sensual, intensely passionate, funny, talented, and completely and unequivocally unapologetic for her eathy, abundant appetite, appreciation of food, and the intense pleasure she reeps from it.
Nigella lives in her own skin. She's so comfortable with herself, she makes me want to embrace myself and my desires as readily as she does....and just be ME. If i LOVE food, why deny it????
Nigella's gorgeous (FAR from skinny), but eats anything she wants! She savors food completely and wholeheartedly, enjoying every bite. She has a "why eat it if you're not going to enjoy it?" kind of attitude. I have the feeling if she's not happy with a choice, she searches for JUST the thing that she wants. Her cooking broadcasts show her digging around in the cubbard or fridge for JUST the thing to satisfy her craving.
But what she often wants is a break from heavier foods. Chapters in Nigella's books are dedicated to eating lean when one wants to take a break from indulgence, or lose a few pounds. That's just the kind of thing I've been dealing with as a raw foodist. Sometimes wanting to eat heavy, sometimes lean. I'm right there with you, Nigella, you go, girl!
I just LOVE this sensually attuned lady, who knows how to listen to her body. She says, 'The body is self regulating." It will CRAVE a light salad or a light soup when it desires to restore a lighter balance.
Nigella is NOT a raw foodist, but, i have a feeling she would enjoy raw gourmet food...as much as I do! What we can learn from the "domestic goddess" is her HEALTHY SENSUAL APPROACH to food. Food is nothing to be afraid of. Food is passion! Embrace it!
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Nigella's Winter Advice:
"Indulge Yourself, Darling"
Lawson is the author of several cookbooks, including most recently Nigella Christmas.
And as she tells NPR's Steve Inskeep, "I'm very, very pro self-indulgence."
For anyone who thinks that kind of indulgence is a bad thing, Lawson agrees — up to a point.
"It is considered bad," she says, "and in a way, you could say that only heightens the pleasure. So, your negativity is not entirely negative."
There are two common causes for that feeling, according to Lawson: First is the fact that rich food may be the opposite of what many diets prescribe; and second, the puritanical urge to view sensual pleasure as a sign of what she terms "moral slackness."
Anyone willing to fly in the face of those concerns might try Lawson's recipe for doughnut French toast. It's rich, golden and crispy — and sprinkled with sugar.
"The egginess and the vanilla come through, and then you put sugar on top, like a doughnut," Lawson says.
If that sounds a bit rich, Lawson says people denying themselves — anything fried, or anything containing butter, for instance — is one of the biggest food problems. Indulging in those things once in a while, she says, makes it easier to balance them with lighter fare, like soups and steamed vegetables.
"I actually feel that I eat very healthily," she says. "My only problem is that I eat enough for five healthy people."
Anyone interested in a more savory treat might try Lawson's cheddar cheese risotto. It's a bit like "a slightly grown-up grilled cheese sandwich."
"There's something about carbohydrate," she says. "You cannot beat carbohydrate for comfort."
The risotto has another of Lawson's preferred qualities of comfort foods: "Anything that can be eaten out of a bowl, with a spoon, is a fantastic self-indulgence. No cutting, no chewing."
Lawson has one caveat about comfort foods.
"There is no point in indulging yourself," she says, "if you are going to persecute yourself at the same time."
It makes no sense to eat foods that will only bring feelings of guilt, not satisfaction, she says. It's much healthier to enjoy food absolutely.
"It doesn't make any difference nutritionally," she says, "but I think the mind is important, as well as the body."
"My weaknesses are mainly savory — think salt and potato chips or cheese and crackers — but there are times when only a doughnut will do. This can get desperate late at night when the shops are shut, and even if they weren't, none of them sell the kind of doughnuts I dream of. This is my way of assuaging my appetite, appeasing my need, or, perhaps more accurately, feeding my addiction. Hot chocolate on the side is always worth considering, but just — just! — by itself, this is sublime succor."
"This is the first of my holy trinity of cheese-rich comfort foods. There is just something about melted cheese, that perfect goo, that seems to soothe the soul and bolster the body."
"This might seem odd to Italians (one of the reasons it is not in the Hey Presto chapter) but it works beautifully: The starchy rice and the sharp cheddar are the perfect counterpoint for each other."
"I make this, too, on days when I need to escape to the kitchen and have a good, quiet, relaxing and mindless 20 minutes staring into the middle distance and stirring. I heartily recommend it."
Listen to Nigella's interview on NPR from November 2nd:
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If you're a foodie like i am and ADORE the cooking shows, then you must already know and love Nigella Lawson. I really hope you'll listen to her interview by clicking above. She's such a charmer. Just the way Nigella describes food makes my knees go weak!!! I didn't know anyone else out there took such pleasure from food as i do! I agree with her about eating out of a bowl, it is SOOO comforting! I often make smoothies and instead of drinking them slurp them from a spoon and bowl. I LOVE it. It feels like a comforting cozy meal then.
Today I expected to eat lightly, but was blissed by heavier fare for lunch: sickle pears for breakfast, for lunch: seaweed salad and veggies with a side of flax crackers, raw cheese, 1/2 of an 'Awesome Foods' meatball sandwhich, 1 bag of their dill daikon chips, and a few bites of their raw fudge.
I was passionate about my lunch and tuned in, and enjoyed it completely, but feared that i had lost control near the end. I would have liked to have eaten 1/2 as much as i did.
Then i realized that I really did NOT eat a HUGE AMOUNT OF FOOD. What i did have were heavier, richer foods. When i eat a salad or a green smoothie, i probably eat the exact same VOLUME of food i ate for lunch, so my body is used to eating heartily.
My appetite finally turned off toward the end and food stopped tasting good. I really didn't stop until that happened and felt like i overate as intellectually i knew i was eating more than i intellectually wanted to.
But, then, i remembered what Nigella said about her appetite. So, i'm embracing mine and making peace with it!
I looked fabulous today in my new size 20 jeans and i felt wonderful. I'm plump and round and I enjoyed my lunch and i just love food. So sue me!
xoxo michelle joy