By NATALIA HAWK
Not last Friday but the Friday before, I was struck down with the stomach virus to beat all stomach viruses. Think intense stomach pains, nausea and all the other pleasant things that come with your body desperately trying to get rid of the bug that’s oh-so-helpfully invaded it.
For more than a week now, I’ve been surviving on Hydralytes, soup and the occasional lemonade icy pole. No solid food.
And you know what? I’ve been absolutely miserable because of it.
It’s because I don’t eat to live. I live to eat.
Think back to a couple of decades ago, when Australian families had the meat-and-three-veg dinner every night and not much else. Occasionally there would be take-out from the one Chinese place around the corner. The most exciting thing about food was the McDonald’s you got on a long road trip, or the lollies you bought from the corner shop.
Back then – I think people ate to live. Their lives didn’t particularly revolve around food. They didn’t spend much time thinking about it. They were busy doing… well, other things.
It couldn’t be more different from how prominently food now features in our lives. We’re obsessed with Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules. We spend hours planning dinner menus, wading our way through the aisles at Woolworths and then attempting to made twice-cooked braised duck in our slow cookers even though the kids would rather just eat fish fingers.
My week of no-eating made me realise that every time I plan a catch-up with a friend, it’s food-related. “Let’s do enchiladas at Beach Burrito/waffles at Max Brenner/sushi at Kokoroya/rice paper rolls at Miss Chu/milkshakes at the beach,” I constantly seem to be saying.