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Welcome from the editor: living the good life

3 min read
Illustration of glamorous couple at a ball

Welcome and thank you for joining me this weekend.

When we choose to make positive changes we always think first about what we are going to give up.
Do you want to get fit and trim? Give up sugar and snacks. Do you want to switch your routine and become an early riser? Give up late nights and limit the wine. Do you want to save more? Tighten the belt and don’t overspend.

It seems every time we want to achieve something that benefits us we have to make sacrifices. No wonder we often fail before we even start if all we do is concentrate on what we are going to lack rather than what we gain. If, for instance, we said, I want to get fit and trim so that I’ll be healthier and stronger, or I’m giving up late nights so that I can see the sunrise and have more time for myself in the morning, and I’m going to save more so I’ll feel more stable, have peace of mind and be able to make plans for the future, the game has already changed.

Such is our attachment to food, that when, for whatever reason, we decide to give up foodstuff we love, we feel crushed, desperate, inconsolable, as if we’d lost a friend. But what could we gain instead?

An argument I hear all the time from individuals who say they ideally would like to eliminate certain foods from their diet for ethical or health reasons is that they couldn’t possibly give up cheese. No more cheese and wine nights? You must be mad!
Well it turns out Vegan cheese has changed its reputation – and taste. Read this week’s feature to find out how by giving up dairy one could discover a new world of flavours and still have those joyously scrumptious cheese and wine nights.

Ramadan is about fasting, but also about feasting with the opulent iftar eaten after sundown. A perfect example of giving up a bit first, to gain a lot later. Read about it in The feasts of Ramadan and salivate.

British author, journalist, broadcaster and consultant specialising in food and drink Pete Brown joins us this week to discuss What the history of beer tells us about human civilisation. Who knew there was so much richness behind the humble beverage. Fascinating stuff.

This bank holiday I will be having more sleep, time to myself, go for long walks and cook delicious food simply by declining a couple of social events. It seems like a good life to me, not a sacrifice.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,