Discovering the Epicurean lifestyle

So today is one of those lazy kind of Sundays – London is getting chilly and today it’s completely covered in fog! It’s beautiful and still, and you can hear the ducks quacking every so often when the children roll along on their scooters and disturb them. I was awake quite early this morning, so I got up and did some sprints and abs at the gym. Then came home and cooked a delicious breakfast together with my boyfriend, with eggs, avocado on wholemeal sourdough, tomatoes, spinach, halloumi and garlic mushrooms.

delicious_salamiLast night my boyfriend and I and a couple of friends went to an awesome event in London called The Epicure, which was unlimited sampling of craft beers, wines and foods that are only available online from their sites. It’s something that I’ve never been to and would have never had any interest in back at home – so I was excited to try something new! Fine wine and food was never an interest for me, because previously I had only viewed food as carbs, protein, fats and vitamins. I didn’t eat for enjoyment, only for the nutrients and health benefits that they gave me – I think I’ve heard some people refer to it as being a ‘basic eater!’ (has anyone else ever been called something like that?!?)

So in light of new beginnings and dropping my mental barriers of what ‘should’ and shouldn’t’ be, this was an opportunity to just embrace and experience – and I LOVED it! We tried all different salamis, wild venison, air-dried lamb, moroccan lamb and truffle pork salami – which we brought home, it was so good! We also tried this eggplant and truffle dip which we also bought (I never realised how frickin’ amazing truffle was!) and there were also Portuguese tarts which had my “holy mother of god’ face on point. There was craft beers, ciders, gins, coffee flavoured rums, teas, and delicious wines from all over the world. We tried this amazingepicurean_food_and_wine_we_brought_home
drink called Nordic Nectar from Iceland, which was a kind of cider, but it tasted like liquid honey. I also learnt about the flavours of red wine, what was ‘oakey’ (I definitely didn’t like that) and what wasn’t. I also bought a delicious Rioja red wine which I could have sworn had hints of berry or chocolate in it. The wine maker just laughed and said he didn’t think so, but apparently it’s completely subjective. I guess I’m terrible at this wine swirling guessing game of picking flavours, but that didn’t matter, what mattered was having fun with my boyfriend and friends, enjoying the atmosphere, laughing and giving in to sensual pleasure.

When we got home and poured all over our delicious plunder from the night, I saw a quote on one of the hessian bags that they gave us to hold our goodies in. It said:

“Pleasure is the beginning and the end of living happily” – Epicurus 431 -270 BC.

This caught my curiosity! I didn’t know who he was or what Epicurean even meant, so I have spent much of my Sunday reading up about his life and philosophy. His belief was that a happy life was one where we abstain from unnecessary desires – like materialism and basic physical pleasures such as food, sex and drinking – and instead accept the simple things in life that bring you happiness as well as having deeper connections with friends and family. I love this quote below where he says, “only when we are in pain do we feel the need to seek pleasure, a need which inevitably only produces greater pain. In order to get rid of this pain-pleasure-pain cycle, we need to cultivate a mindset in which there is no pain.”

In other words, rather than covering up your pain, suffering or insecurities with pleasure that only last a few moments, learn to take pleasure in the small everyday things. Don’t drink your life away after a stressful day at work. Don’t eat your feelings when you’re stuck in a self-loathing cycle. Don’t go on a spending spree and get yourself into more debt to feel validated and loved because you don’t feel good enough. Stop. Learn to appreciate a cup of tea or a good coffee, reading and learning something new, going for a walk and looking at the colours you see, catching up with your friends for breakfast, sharing food together, laughing, how you feel when you favourite song comes on. It’s the little things in life that give you on-going pleasure and reward that never goes away unless you let it.

This sums up my night and weekend perfectly. It felt good getting off social media and getting out of the mentality of what should or shouldn’t be. I was so happy trying new things, spending time with friends, savouring new tastes and smells, soaking in the atmosphere, learning something different and new, and accepting every moment that came by.