The Four Purposes of Food

In addition to learning how to swim myself across an ocean, the past four years have afforded me many life skills.

One of the ongoing challenges has been nutrition.  What began as a month long experiment fast became an exploration of food in general.  I dove head first into understanding nutrients, exploring the emotional and intellectual facets of my appetite, and learning about where food comes from and what it actually is supposed to do and be.

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I took this picture and sent it to my nutritionist with the caption: “..I have no idea what I’m doing…” I was joking. But he didn’t know that and called me to make sure I was okay.

The most important revelation for me was understanding the purpose of food.  I can remember my nutritionist asking me what I thought that was and my reply;

“…for energy?”

“Spoken like a true athlete,” he replied.  “Food actually has four purposes.”

Food has FOUR purposes.

Goodness… four purposes.  Four of them.  For really real.  And I know one.

But the truth is – I’m a good test taker.  I can answer questions on tests and get high scores and never ever actually understand the subject matter.  This trait has frustrated me from time to time over the years when I wanted to understand things but didn’t – trying to tell my teachers that, in fact, I didn’t quite get it and having them looking at my straight A’s with question marks in the bubbles over their cartoon heads.

So even though I got one out of four correct – I didn’t even understand that one.

Nutrition: Fail.

But the good thing is that I’ve learned a lot about food’s purposes since then and I’ve learned a lot about navigating it based on those things.  I decided to share some of what I’ve learned with you for your education and betterment.

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Lemon wild cod on a bed of mushrooms with broccoli. SO tasty!!!

Food is for Energy, Medicine, Social Connection, and Pleasure.

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