Guest Blog: Shanti Pappas of Happy Belly Health - Become More Adventurous with Food!

October 17, 2018

Beef Bourguignon with Fingerling Potatoes

Some people prefer eating plain and simple, unpretentious food. (Protein, starch, and vegetables.) This is perfectly fine and can be a very healthy and balanced diet.
However, if you’d like to venture out a bit and start adding more complexity and variety to your foods, please read on...

It can be intimidating moving to a foodie city like San Francisco. There will be items on a menu or at the grocery store you’ve never heard of or didn’t know were edible. Pairings of foods might also seem odd depending on your ethnic background and experience with food.

The first step to becoming more adventurous with foods is to get exposure. Go out there and try something new. Visit an unfamiliar restaurant. Ask your waiter for help. Read food blogs, sift through popular menus, get curious. Food can give us more than nutritional nourishment. It also connects cultures, helps us socialize, and can absolutely fill our hearts and souls. Trying a new food, is a great way to embrace more of life. Visit a restaurant that shares a different culture than what you’re familiar with.

Learn about the 5 flavors foods can offer and start noticing when you eat which are being sparked. There’s salty, sweet, sour, spicy, and bitter. In the last decade, another flavor is also being recognized as umami. When you take time to chew your food well and use all your senses to explore your experience, you’ll notice both the bold and the subtle flavors. When chewed well, you might find that rice is actually sweet. Kale is quite bitter, but is mellowed when paired with sweet flavors, like cinnamon or nutmeg, or butternut squash. Italian chefs have taught us the trick to making delicious marinara is to use a bit of sugar to mellow the pungency of the tomatoes. Combining flavors is the art and science of cooking.

Another way to becoming more adventurous with food is to visit one of my favorite local grocers and prepared food markets, found in the very heart of San Francisco - or delivered straight to your door. Luke’s Local is a food lover’s dream! Take a look at this week’s menu on their mobile app and notice the ingredient combinations. Think about the 5 flavors and see how they’re being used to add delicious textures and richness to simple ingredients. 

Beef Bulgogi Japchae Noodle Bowl
Beef Bulgogi Japchae Noodle Bowl

Roasted Chicken with Chili-Honey Yams and Mint Pesto
Roasted Chicken with Chili-Honey Yams and Mint Pesto

If your strength is eating, but not cooking, or too busy, and you’d like to venture out a bit, visit Luke’s Local to keep you satisfied. And by the way, the food is pretty healthy! Recipes are nutrient-dense and high quality.

Whether you are new to San Francisco or a long-time resident, I encourage you to embrace your inner “foodie” and explore variety, freshness, color, texture, flavor, and savour every bite.

P.S. If you’re interested in finding out more about health coaching and how we can help you, please contact us here and you’ll be prompted to schedule a free 15 minute chat. We look forward to supporting you.

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