This week at work has been… challenging. Normally I’m not one of those who looks forward to Friday any more than any other day, but this week is an exception. Come ON, weekend! I kept quoting “Office Space” in my head this week. The pieces of flair, the fantasy copy machine beating, the “mmm… yeah.” Seriously. On the bright side, I do work with some amazing people. So that’s nice.
We have staff meetings a couple times a month, and fortunately they aren’t unpleasant. As a matter of fact, they are a time of encouragement, fellowship with friends and [have I already mentioned?] there’s food. Someone on staff volunteers to bring a treat, which could be anything. Sometimes it’s homemade and sometimes it’s from the store. But hey, it’s always food. This week I volunteered to bring the food.
Now, obviously, I love food. I love to cook it, eat it, take photos of it. I love to learn about it, read about it, experiment with it. I sing songs to my son about his broccoli. Admittedly, I’m a food nut. I’m also a health and fitness enthusiast. Sometimes vegan, sometimes paleo, but always conscious of what I’m putting into my body. I often find myself in conversation at the office about diet, fitness, vitamins, nutrients, things of that nature. I don’t mind it. I less-than-mind it. I enjoy it, I light up in those kinds of conversations because food and health are my passion.
After a few minutes brainstorming, I came up with a perfect snack to represent who I am and how I think about food, and still be sweet and filling enough to satisfy everyone else at the meeting who maybe doesn’t share my food philosophies. [I also needed something that would be affordable.] Here’s a photo:
Drooling all over yourself, right? ME TOO! Fruit skewers. Easy to handle, great for Summer and perfectly refreshing. As I was making these, those little glands by my jaw kept tingling. Oh, the anticipation of those sweet, sweet strawberries. And the kiwi – I was ill-prepared and only had one – was SO ripe it was all I could do not to just swallow it whole.
One thing I have noticed about myself in the last couple of years, that either wasn’t the case before, or I didn’t realize before because I wasn’t eating as well as I should: I have a real, physical, visceral reaction to foods that nourish me. It’s almost lust. The body is alive, is made up of live cells, so when it’s fed living foods on a consistent basis, there is a palpable shift. It starts to crave those types of foods. Trust me, it’s real and it feels good.
Anyway, back to the office story. At the store throwing all this fruit in my cart, I decided there should be something on the side. A dip? Yogurt? I’m running through dietary restrictions in my head – so and so is gluten free, um I think so and so is doing this or that diet plan – hmm… I know! NUTELLA!! Delicious hazelnut spread that everyone likes. Perfect. So I get to the aisle number 149 over at the other end of the store, and I see the Nutella. But just as I was about to add it to my pending purchases, another jar caught my eye. It said Justin’s, and looked like my favorite Maple Almond Butter, but it said “Hazelnut”. Is this real, or am I hallucinating? Justin’s makes a delicious hazelnut spread too, but theirs has no ingredients I can’t pronounce and only 1/3 the sugar?! Is today Christmas?! For clarity’s sake, I’ll say here that I chose the Justin’s. [Because of course I did.]
I went to the conference room early to set up, and the spread was delightful, just as I’d imagined it. Granted, it did take a long time to slice up all that fruit and put it all on skewers, and I may or may not have gone to bed with a stomach ache from all the pieces I “dropped” into my mouth. Still, it was a success and it all got eaten and I am quite proud of myself. I did, of course, post a photo on instagram. Hashtag CANIGETARAISE?
A photo, this time of the presentation at work: