What’s different about someone who considers himself or herself a foodie? They undergo what is called a food experience transformation.
My friends Jordan and Katie (names have been changed) could be considered foodies. Jordan’s family owned a restaurant. From an early age, he learned the ins and outs of food ingredients, cooking skills, and restaurant management. Katie grew up on fast food. In her college years, she and a friend got together regularly and learned how to cook from a variety of cookbooks, videos, and chefs.
Both Jordan and Katie built their culinary skills over time and in very different environments. However, bringing those food skills to their marriage created a connection between food and health. Because Jordan and Katie understood the food experience, that understanding was the foundation for all their actions. As they shared food with each other, their family, and friends, they also shared pieces of their past and their goals of health and wellness. They had undergone a food experience transformation.
Once you understand the importance of food itself, you can share it. You’re forming traditions. You are making recipes you’ve created or that have been in the family for years. All of that takes time. By definition, a transformation happens over the course of time. It starts with Tiny Habits (a la BJ Fogg), and expands gradually. The transformation part is learning and applying the principles of the food experience.
What is a Food Experience Transformation?
Simply put, a food experience transformation is knowledge of and a desire for health and wellness from a food perspective. A food experience transformation is when someone learns about food and the potential it can have in their life. They experience the greatness of food with the different tastes, cultures, and varieties. They learn how to appreciate what food has to offer in the way of health and nutrition.
It’s a transformation of learning how to eat clean and how food affects the body. It’s also a transformation of your attitude toward food – what you can do, how you can feel, how and how food can affect your body and mind.
The Birth of a Food Experience Transformation
A food experience transformation is different for each individual. For some people, a transformation may be a long process. For others, it may require a small shift in understanding. There is always something you can learn and experience. You may understand one aspect of the food experience well, but then you are introduced to other aspects that complement the whole experience.
Maybe you are not eating as clean as you should or as you would like to. Perhaps you are trying to limit sweets. Maybe you are building up the courage to say no to junk food. Understanding food from a cleanliness perspective and focusing on whole foods can change your overall attitude and happiness as well as your experience. That’s what a foodie becomes.
A foodie becomes someone who understands that combining different flavors and textures in a healthy way are keys to health and vitality. They get excited about food and they want to share that excitement with others. That’s a transformation!
Movement to Clean Eating
Clean eating is a big part of a food experience transformation. It involves identifying and understanding healthy ingredients, experiencing the true flavors of food, and understanding more about the connection between what you put into your body and the endurance and direction in your life. Just as music appreciation helps you experience different styles and genres of music, so does food appreciation help you experience different foods and transform your eating habits toward clean eating and a healthier you.
As you learn the different aspects of food and learn to appreciate food, you understand that there is a whole world of food out there that you have never experienced, and want to try new things and expand your palate. That’s a transformation!
You are transforming into something completely different. You go from simply someone who eats, to a foodie!
You go from someone who eats because they have to, to someone who wants to experience and enjoy food and the health benefits thereof. You come to love food and love what it can do for you with regard to the flavors and the interaction.
When you transform, you want to share that transformation with others. You want to share that excitement. You want to share that understanding of what food can taste like, and the interaction with food among people. You see this big open world of food you have never seen before. That transforms someone. You are open to a whole new world of food experiences.
Foods for the Long Haul
A transformation is a movement from eating foods that tear you down to foods that give you the energy and endurance you need for work, school, and home life. It means transforming your attitudes and your feelings and how you appreciate food for what it can do. A core piece is the transformation of your attitude and your understanding of each of the Six Principles of Positive Food Experiences:
· Knowledge Base
You are what you eat!
If you are not eating clean or you are eating under bad conditions, that transformation cannot occur. There are so many aspects to transformation besides simply planning a meal. A transformation changes you and how you experience food. This includes your attitude and enjoyment of food. It involves having different food experiences, such as experiencing different cultures through food, and experiencing life through food.
A Transformation of Body and Mind
It is a transformation of your thought process and enjoyment – more so than just planning a meal. It’s a transformation of your food attitudes, experiences, and interactions, and knowing what benefit food can bring you. You move to an excitement about food and different types of food. You are transforming yourself into a different person. You look at food differently than you did before. You want to eat healthy food – and you are excited about it! That’s a transformation!
Planning events around food is an aspect of sharing your excitement about food and interacting with food, and creating an environment to focus on food. But it is not the transformation itself. It is a resultof a transformation. The transformation is in YOU. The transformation is your food attitudes, experiences, and explorations of the food experience. It is changing who you are – your excitement, attitudes and experiences with food.
The six principles of positive food experiencesare focal points to help you experience that transformation. At that level you share your food excitement with other people, and creating an environment conducive to a positive food experience. You create good memories as everyone is interacting among each other and with the food. The transformation itself is different than what you do with that transformation.
Get a New Food Attitude
As you undergo a food experience transformation, you first need to understand your current food attitudes. What foods do you like and dislike now, and why? You come to understand what food experiences you have had up to this point, and then transform that into experiencing foods you’ve never had before, and wanting to taste different aspects of food – tasting different ingredients, and then putting them together to create a whole new melody.
It’s similar to music where you need to understand the different notes, what they sound like, what they mean, etc. Then you put the notes together to really appreciate the overall aspect of and enjoyment of that creation. It is understanding all the pieces that make up the whole transformation – and how you feel about that transformation.
A transformation is not only assessing your skills at the beginning, but also walking through each principle to build your understanding, aptitude, and appreciation for the different parts of the food experience.
Experience Food Creation for Yourself
It’s one thing to eat new foods while on a cruise or some other type of vacation. It’s another thing to want to experience the creation of those foods at home. Creating food yourself becomes like going to an art museum and appreciating the art, and then returning home and learning how to paint. You create something you never thought you could, and you enjoy it more because you took part in that experience. You taste food on a vacation, and then exclaim, “Ooo, I can make that!” It’s not just going somewhere and having someone else create something for you. You come to love that food and want to create it yourself.
There is that other aspect of it. It’s okay to consume, but it helps your overall food experience transformation when you create. Then you share that creation with others. You then create an environment conducive to a food experience transformation. You become someone who creates versus someone who just consumes.
With a food experience transformation, there is no longer a boundary between when you eat at home and when you go out to eat. You are bridging that gap. It’s not something separate. Sometimes when you go out to eat, you want to experience something new. You can then take that food experience and recreate that at home with your own special twist to it. Maybe you make a cleaner food item. Maybe it has different ingredients. It may be the same concept, but different in the quality and creativity of the dish. You take aspects of the dish you enjoy, and make it even better.
A True Food Experience Transformation
What is unique about foodies? It is the transformation that they went through. It is the journey of how they have changed their attitudes about food and the food experience. The experience they have with food becomes something exciting and something meaningful. It becomes something amazing – with the tapestry of food options, textures, flavors, and colors.
They continually search for those factors in the food they eat and in the experiences they share. They are excited to share their culinary creations with others. Just like in art (see the art of the food experience blog post), they are motivated to share their “masterpiece” with others. They are excited about it!
That’s what makes a foodie a foodie! They have transformed themselves into interacting with food differently than they did before. They are focused on health and wellness. They want to be able to do more and be more.
It takes some time. It starts with identifying your past and current food experiences, your tastes, your memories, etc. You can then expand your knowledge and experiences and paint a picture of a true food experience. You may find yourself exclaim, “I had no idea there was such a beautiful world of food out there!” As you are open to food and the experiences thereof, the possibilities are endless!
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: You can transform your attitudes and experiences with food to be something amazing – a new dimension of health and wellness that you never thought would be possible!