I eat to live and I live to eat. I’m a busy person, but I always make time to sit down and eat a steady, balanced meal. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; it’s also my favorite. Even if it means waking up earlier than I have to in order to sit down and enjoy a plate or bowl of whatever with a cup of coffee, I do it.
Food is a priority for me, just as it has been and continues to be for the rest of my family. The entire Hitchcock household knows the importance of food’s nourishment of the body and the soul, especially my mom. Waking up to gourmet restaurant-worthy breakfasts and going to sleep filled with food so good you dream about it is the norm when I go home for breaks. I hate goodbyes in general, but besides my parents and pets, my mom’s delicious meals are also hard to part with. Fortunately, she always sends me back to Los Angeles with food and treats for the following week. After Thanksgiving break a few years ago, she sent me home with a full spread of leftovers that lasted nearly a week. Her latest parting gift trend is a batch of homemade biscuits.
I read Theresa Brown’s “Love, Death and Spaghetti,” which verified my knowledge that food is just as fulfilling emotionally as it is nutritionally. When my digestive system stopped working (yes, that can happen) in fifth grade, I physically could not eat or drink anything. I vividly remember my mom returning from my restaurants with my favorite foods, begging me to eat. Once I was treated and recovering from a week of IVs and tests in the hospital, my mom made it her job to assure I was eating everything I needed to fully recover. Malt-O-Meal, chicken broth, and sourdough rolls were pretty much all I could eat for the first few weeks. I remember finally being able to eat real food, and think there were tears in both of my parent’s eyes when they saw me devour a black bean, rice, and cheese burrito after weeks of being sick and on an insanely bland diet.
I never had issues with food before moving to Los Angeles for college. “Green juice” was foreign to me, and I didn’t realize that carbs were “bad.” I have come to appreciate a good green juice every now and then, and understand the difference between “good” and “bad” carbs. But I enjoy everything in moderation. Surrounded by girls who refuse to eat even when they’re hungry, who will order a salad begrudgingly when they would much rather enjoy a sandwich, who frequently “cleanse,” and see pasta dishes as satanic are all too familiar to me. My mom and I basically ate our way through New York City a few weeks ago, and at most meals I caught myself saying, “So-and-so would never eat this!” or thinking about how much time exercising I’d have to put in to work off what I was enjoying in the moment.
The only time I want to think about food is in the context of enjoyment – as a means of fulfillment in either realm of nutritional or mental fulfillment. Julia Child said it best: “People who love to eat are always the best people.” Enjoy your life and enjoy your food. There are more important things to worry about besides counting calories and wondering if one cupcake will make you fat. Eating good, delicious food is a privilege many, especially in Los Angles, seem to take for granted. Have some spaghetti and enjoy life, food and all, for as long as you can. I guarantee it will make you (and your mom) very happy.
Crystal Renn for French Vogue (Terry Richardson)