I am a nutritionist on a mission – to find the balanced plate. My previous home, New York City, couldn’t be a more perfect starting point. I became invested in this mission when I left my full-time position as a clinical dietitian and enrolled in a culinary arts program. First things first, I needed to learn how to cook.
This last sentence may sound funny. Yes it’s true, I was a nutritionist who had been practicing in the field for 5 years, but had only learned how to roast a chicken as recently as last year. There were easier routes to take than a year-long culinary arts program. But I didn’t just want to know the basics.
In my mind the balanced plate isn’t just your meat, starch, vegetables, and a glass of milk. While all of those aspects are important, people should not eat just to eat. People should also not eat something just because that food is considered healthy. Eating is an experience. Foods should be plated together because of how their flavors interplay, how their vibrant colors excite you, and how their textures appease every part of your mouth.
My opinion is that the majority of top chefs in the world know how to make eating a very enjoyable experience. However they usually do so with disregard of fat calories, cholesterol, sodium, antioxidants, fiber, and many other things that popped into my head after consuming a 7-course meal at Le Bernadin for my birthday. Trust me – it was exquisite, and entirely worth every calorie, but being the nutritionist that I am, I think about those kinds of things.
My mission has become to create an equally mind-blowing food experience, but with nutrition in mind.
Now I have moved out to New Jersey and taken another step toward finding the balanced plate – vegetable gardening! I am a first timer with little direction but a lot of ambition. I have poured over gardening books and talked to the guys at my local garden shop for advice. Trial and error is an OK way to learn when my life doe not depend on the success of this vegetable garden. That being said, I hope this will garden will enrich not only my diet but my life and give me a greater appreciation for the food I eat.