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  • rlambakis

How do you decide what to eat?

Updated: Oct 16, 2023

Every time you eat, you choose how to live your life.

Costa Rica coffee beans

What a grandiose statement. There are plenty people writing about how to eat in a way that keeps your body healthy. From that perspective, do what you want. You'll eat healthier when it becomes important enough.

“You have a choice. You can chose to settle for quick and easy, but the slight extra effort to seek and try something new might just increase your happiness.”

But I'm talking about whether you eat to be content or you eat to be happy. Here's some examples:


I've been drinking coffee for years. Well, decades now. Quite honestly, most coffee doesn't taste very good. But we get used to it in order to get the caffeine hit. I started going to different coffee houses, trying beans from different regions, and those roasted light or dark. And not just the new place down the street, but I'd drive a few more miles to try one, and try local places while traveling instead googling where the closest green icon was. I started remembering which beans were smooth and which were acidic. Which roasts needed too much sugar to mask and which only needed a teaspoon. I even tried different milks and creams (2%, whole, half/half, light cream, heavy cream), and different sugars (white, raw, agave, demerara and sugars from other countries such as Mauritius, and simple syrup).

Turns out my favorite is Costa Rican (I order from Café Britt) or neighboring countries. Smooth, chocolaty and not tart at all. Light whipping cream adds fantastic nutty-ness, but I settle for half/half on a daily basis. And raw sugar tastes much more natural than white, although more exotic sugars can be delicious too.

You have a choice. You can chose to settle for quick and easy, but the slight extra effort to seek and try something new might just increase your happiness.

Ice cream choices at grocery store

Ice Cream

Ice cream isn't exactly healthy, but I do love it. I figure "everything in moderation" so I'll eat small scoops and single cones. I've always gone for good flavors, depending on my mood of course. As I got older, I started to notice the difference in both taste and ingredients between the typical national brands and the smaller "small batch" brands. One of the first I tried was Talenti gelato--Pistachio in particular. First, there were real, whole pistachios in there. And it tasted so much more natural. It didn't taste syrupy, or sugary or whipped full of air (some ice creams aren't even that cold because they have so much whipped air and fillers in them!). It simply tasted creamy and flavorful. Sure enough, looking at the ingredients there were far more simple ingredients with recognizable names.

I've tried many flavors of Talenti and several other brands. Some are amazing and others so-so. But when I do feel like ice cream, I have many options now that will make me really happy. You may say "but it's more expensive". Sure. You have to decide what's important to you--saving $2.76 or adding happiness to your life. The good thing is you always have a choice.

What criteria do you use when deciding what to eat? Cheaper? Closer? Healthier? What your parents told you to eat? What your friends eat? What makes you happy?

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