Showing posts with label pleasure. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pleasure. Show all posts

Vitamin P deficiency: How lack of pleasure severely impacts health

As we race through our busy days and barely take time to eat, let alone enjoy a meal, more is at stake than simply depriving our taste buds - vitality is seriously compromised too. When we don't take pleasure in our food, regardless of how nutritionally superior it may be, our mental and physical well-being plummet. Scientific research agrees: If we consume tasteless fare, health suffers.

Pleasure as the ultimate health kick

Seeking a way to lower cholesterol, absorb more nutrients or slim down? Research has found the simple element of pleasure may be the key. According to Marc David, founder of the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, "When you're turned on by food, you turn on metabolism." He references three studies involving pleasure and health.

The first took place at the University of Texas where participants suffering from high cholesterol were given a general low-fat diet - with one exception: each was allowed to splurge every other day with a ham and cheese sandwich along with a milkshake. We would expect cholesterol levels to sky-rocket, but they didn't. In fact, there wasn't an elevation at all. David attributes this surprising finding to "… relaxed and celebrated moments in an otherwise bland and stressful diet. And that decrease in fight-or-flight chemistry could have been, by itself, enough to lower cholesterol…"

A Pleasurable Spelt Brioche

I have a confession to make: Pleasure in life is my top priority. More specifically, embracing the philosophy of Epicurus. Curiously, most associate this doctrine to be one of gluttony, extravagance, and senseless self-gratification. Upon further investigation, however, an epicurean way of life honors simplicity while seizing upon any opportunity to be fully present -- naturally leading to a sense of pleasure. Cultivating close friendships along with a deep connection to the natural world both have a treasured place in this life-affirming philosophy. All in all, it is an attitude of fully savoring the moment, slowing down, and really living. Traditionally, the French are known for their exquisite embodiment of epicurean living. To read more about this orientation, click here.

In quiet celebration of pleasure, a recipe for brioche. Here we are using classic ingredients with an eye for quality and simplicity. Pasture butter, free-range eggs, heirloom spelt flour. It is worth the extra effort of sourcing sprouted flour for maximum nutrition while minimizing bone harming phytic acid. On a sweet note, orange blossom honey is the perfect compliment to the unique flavor of lavender.

Spelt Brioche with Lavender


1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon evaporated cane juice
1/4 cup lukewarm milk
1 cup white sprouted spelt flour
1 tablespoon agave nectar
1 free-range egg
1/2 teaspoon fresh or dried lavender flowers
3 oz pasture butter, room temperature
Orange blossom honey for serving


Whisk yeast, evaporated cane juice, and milk in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes until it begins to foam.

With a wooden spoon, stir the flour, honey, egg and lavender into the yeast mixture until combined. Add butter in fourths until a sticky and soft dough forms. Cover and allow to rest in a warm place until doubled in size, approximately 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a six-cup capacity brioche mold or small bread pan. Lightly dust the dough with flour and shape into a round ball. Place in brioche mold, cover, and set aside for 20 minutes to rise once again. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from mold and serve warm with orange blossom honey. Savor fully with those who delight in wonderfully simple pleasures.

"Laetus in praesens" (Happiness now)
-Inscribed on the wall of villa Careggi, Florence, Italy