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A Year of Living Positively -Day 79

It's pushing seven o'clock and dinner is on the stove but I don't feel very hungry because I had snacks this afternoon. Two students visited me and, following tradition, brought me a beverage and a treat, which was a small waffle from the student food court on campus. After they left, I found B in her office and she gave me a Turkish delight bon-bon from Turkey.

I enjoyed the students' visit to my office. One is a new student in my writing class. Her friend that towed her along and brought her there is a student from one of my classes given some four years ago. I got the progress report from "A", my former student: being a double major in Thai and English, She completed TOEIC and TESOL courses then did volunteer work as a teacher in Thailand for a few months. She has been working in local institutes and has had private students as well. She has returned to studies at BUFS and is in her third year now. She aspires to become involved in international education, perhaps as an officer of the United Nations Organization.

I've been making the rounds to catch colleagues in their offices so that I can ask for pledges to my walking in the Walk for Women. It's coming up this Saturday, and I thought I should bring some funds to pass on to Busan Volunteer person who are to transfer the donation to the shelter. On the other hand, participants might feel better about it if they were left to deposit their collections into an account of a shelter themselves. I'll see.

I had pasta with the home-made tomato sauce tonight and for lunch. Sometimes pasta fills me up but often it does not. From the extra food this afternoon, I feel full  right now.

I think appreciation and thoughtfulness about food is an important item on our positive thinking pointers list. If you saw the list in the Day 60 entry, you'll recall it.

On this point about food, I differ from Dottie Billington, the author of the book I've been referring to that is called Life is an Attitude. She cautions readers about food, counseling them to avoid over-indulging so as to keep their waists slim. (She is averse skinniness, however.) She also recommends 30 minute of exercise a day. These are points well taken. We should mind our health, and work on staying healthy by exercising, watching our weight and eating moderately. I concur.

However, I see no reason why one should not celebrate and relish food all the same. I think it is a mistake to regard food as a mundane thing or a chore, or worse, as a shameful or even evil thing. 

Many people, most notably young women, see it in such a negative light that they develop food disorders. I know food disorders are complex psycho-cultural manifestations, but that is a problematic perspective on food that they experience, nonetheless. In the more typical case, it is seen as a sly invader that we have to fend off and constantly refuse or risk being contaminated and attacked to our detriment. 

With a positive perspective, we can appreciate the simple joy of foraging for, preparing and consuming food albeit judiciously. We can be in control and manage it well as part of managing and improving our lives. Besides, it is fairly well known that eating a balanced diet and balancing consumption with planned exercise is the key to a healthy body, as opposed to not caring about food or holding disdain and failing to appreciate it so that anything goes into the shopping bag, the pot and inevitably the stomach. We can learn to appreciate and celebrate the best food: the best cultivated, the best prepared, and the most nutritious along with the food experts that labor to provide it to us, and thereby learn how to treat food well, which leads to treating ourselves and our lives well. Treating food well serves people and society. Treating it well includes conservation, non-contaminating practices of cultivation, careful harvesting and distribution, budgeting and economising, wise and measured preservation and consumption, and knowledgeable and skilled preparation and display.

With greater appreciation, we can have a defense against the negligent or careless food producer and vendor. We can defeat the onslaught of junk food and prepared foods that harm us and civilization by being better informed consumers and learning to support the best producers and preservers, and become good producers and preservers ourselves.

Yeah, there is a lot out there in the media and cyberspace about food and health. Yet such information is eclectically and randomly pitched out into the public arena in piecemeal fashion. We should look to the advanced farmers, food scientists, home economists and nutritionists and encourage them to inform the public on the best products and practices rather than depending on the cheap treadmill profiteering media. They know that you are looking for better ways to live and they feed you the buzz and paper because the topics attract you, but your food, food consumption and  management practices do not necessarily improve from your exposure to it, other than perhaps learning some brand names and jargon, and picking up a factoid and a recipe here and there.

I think food should be a major discussion of the day, but a discussion and a discussion with investigation. We should reclaim it and be in control of it. We should use positive thinking to talk about the best food and the best experiences with food. It will help to make our day and brighten up our lives. It can add to the things we enjoy around us day by day, and be celebrated and valued for its life enhancing and sustaining powers. 

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