Healthy eating and good cottage appetite

I don’t know about you, but I often find myself hungrier at the cottage than at home. Some say it’s the fresh air which I’m sure it has something to do with it. But consider this: in order to have a healthy appetite and develop proper eating habits, stress is the number one enemy and relaxation is your best friend.

And what better way to quickly relax, truly relax, than get yourself out there in the country-side and enjoy country-everything with its greens and soft sounds, the birds, the water and all those basic little pleasures that make for instant nature-therapy.

Photo by Birgit Loit

The theory of Appetite Control tells us that hunger and appetite are two different urges. A novelty in the mid-XXth century when Maslow talked about it, now we know a lot more about our body’s self-regulating feeding mechanism. For instance, as we lack certain nutrients, the body signals by making us craving them.

This, however, is not hunger. Hunger is that one physiological need that most of us seldom experience in the First world here in Canada. The kind that, neither in the present nor the future, grants anything as being relevant in any other terms than the securing of daily food. A motivational force so powerful that it cannot be resisted and all energy must be focused toward satisfying it.

Photo taken at Drake Devonshire, PEC

If you’ve ever experienced excessive hunger at night, when it really is too late to eat, you’re not the only one. There is a reason and even a name for it. It is called: Night Eating Syndrome and it is characterized by eating more than 50% of your daily consumption of food after 6:00pm. Often accompanied by difficulty falling asleep, it is associated with stress. The way it works is that the body starts relaxing after the day’s acute stimulants and physiologically it finally signals the brain that it needs nourishment.

There are many problems with eating such a high percentage of your nutrients so late in the day when not only the mind but also the body’s metabolism slows down to a point where it does not process the incoming food with the same efficiency.

So if this is the case, that’s good news. It means that we should have a lot more control over our appetite and cottage life can definitely help with it.

While nature plays its part, architecture and design have an equally big role that is crucial in achieving a relaxing state. A break from the stress, a true break that has positive effects does not need to be long, but it does need to be effective. And that takes just the right design, the right people, or sometimes lack of, the right meal and the right sunset.

As cliched as it is, a walk thru a charming small town will always do the trick while our eyes would always linger on cottages and cabins that by now come in every style, shape, size and form. We are definitely a cottage-loving city perhaps because of how urban we are. So we trail every chance we have to this complementary world, with bathing suits, towels, water for the road and cash for the coffee on the way.

Photo by Travis Grossen

Once there, windows are open, everyone changes and drops the city grit onto the floor to take that dip in the refreshing water or, perch down on an Adirondack with a beer.

But what is truly critical for all to work is having a fantastically well set-up kitchen for breakfast. Breakfast at the cottage is not easy. Aside from the fact that it can take place anywhere between 8am and 1pm, it’s quite a feat and it requires a special kind of kitchen. (read my 2 cents on that here)

This year-round cottage in Barrie was designed with no island but instead, the large harvest table serves as gathering as well as prep area for the earliest meal of the day when everyone is showing off their pj’s. There is no other meal in the day where that is so widely accepted and at the cottage, it’s not only accepted, but cherished as the last formal barrier to fall between you and your guests. (more of this project at Dochia Interior Design)

Courtesy of Dochia interior design

Photo by Chris Harrison

If your cottage is indeed in a beautiful little spot where you have the luxury to go out and have dinner at a local restaurant the idyllic experience is complete.

Photo taken at Drake Devonshire, PEC

Drake Devnoshire in PEC, a couple of hours or so from Toronto is one of these local places where design meets great food and you experience charm by the bucketloads. As difficult as it is to book a room, having a meal there is set up as authentic as it gets. The interior design of the main dining area is carefully crafted with simple materials and casual seating. A cottage in itself, you feel welcome and comfortable like visiting your friend with the big cottage and the skill to prepare the best meal ever.

Photo taken at Drake Devonshire, PEC

Rested and full, you’re waiting for the sunset, the one with a horizon that the high-built city can almost never offer.

Photo by Ann Savchenko

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