Today I was reading in Mindless Eating about comfort foods and the differences between what women choose and what men choose.
What’s the big difference between men and women? When asked why they preferred pizza, pasta, and soup over cakes and cookies, men generally talked about how good they tasted and how filling they were. But when we probed a bit deeper, many also said that when they ate these foods they felt “spoiled,” “pampered,” “taken care of,” or “waited on.” Generally they associated these foods with being the focus of attention from either the mother or wife.
And women? Although they liked hot-meal comfort foods just fine, these foods did not carry the associations of being “spoiled,” “taken care of,” or “waited on.” In fact, quite the opposite. When women thought of these foods, they were reminded of the work they or their mothers had to do to produce them. These foods didn’t represent comfort, they represented preparation and cleanup.
For women, snacklike foods–candy, cookies, ice cream, chocolate–were hassly-free. Part of their comfort was to not have to make or clean up anything. It was both effortless and mindless eating.
Isn’t that interesting? Men chose foods that made them feel cared for or spoiled. As I think of Joe’s favorite foods, they are all warm and full meals. Mine are not. Last week I made lasagna because he asked for it, and I couldn’t fathom why someone would want lasagna when it is 99 degrees outside. I even talked to some friends at my yoga class about how all I want is a salad or to eat out. I need to keep our different preferences in mind, even if Joe’s tastes sometimes confuse me. I do this for my children, but I don’t always think a ton about Joe’s preferences, especially since he likes a lot of unhealthy comfort foods. Making those foods healthy and serving his comfort foods is another little way of honoring my family 🙂 I hadn’t really considered the deeper “why’s” behind that before.
In Turansky and Miller’s Say Goodbye to Whining, they point out that the Bible tells us many times to love, honor, serve, and encourage others. I sometimes think of that as being a loftier goal than it is. The fact is that many of my day-to-day decisions can be done in a more honoring way. They say,
It’s amazing how one family member can behin a chain reaction of change, resulting in a greater sense of honor. Maybe that one family member is you.
There are so many little ways to show honor and love. I am glad that I am starting to recognize some more ways to do this. It blesses me to bless my family.Â Who would’ve thought that a book on subconscious eating preferences would give me more ideas on how to bless my family?
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