Eating with Elegance

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What happened to elegance in eating? When did the concepts of “eating-on-the-go” or devouring plastic-wrapped or boxed meals become appropriate methods of dining? How did eating in front of the TV or in the car become alternatives to the dinner table? Our modern lives are often hectic and mindless; jumping from work to family to social and community obligations. Running down the long to-do list, barely crossing each item off, even exercise has to be scheduled. Many of us have lost touch with what food is and what it does. For many, it is merely a means to quench hunger, rather than to nourish. Our health and meals have sadly become an inconvenience.

Elegance in dining brings to mind fresh, whole foods and ingredients and the time to touch, smell, and taste flavors. Chopping, slicing, cooking, putting love into your foods is elegance. Presentation on a plate with silverware and cloth napkin at a dinner table with candles and the scent of flowers in a nearby vase is elegance. Spending time and nourishing yourself and those you love is elegance. Welcome back elegance and mindfully prepare and eat your next meal.

Photo Credit: Jun Belen

About The Author

Manuel Villacorta is a registered dietitian (RD) and certified specialist is sports dietetics (CSSD) with more than 16 years of experience. He was recently appointed national media spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, which identifies him as one of the United States’ leading weight loss and nutrition experts. Villacorta is the owner of San Francisco-based private practice MV Nutrition, the recipient of two consecutive “Best Bay Area Dietitian” awards (2009 and 2010) from the San Francisco Chronicle and Citysearch, and the creator of the Eating Free™ weight management program. Villacorta also developed MV Professional Nutrition (a software suite designed to assist RDs with their own private practices) and created www.eatingfree.com (an international, Internet-based weight loss and weight management program). Villacorta is a compelling, charismatic communicator—a public speaker, who is often praised for making audiences feel, heard, motivated, and engaged. His warm, approachable style, alongside his strong bilingual proficiency in both English and Spanish, have made him an in-demand health and nutrition expert on both local and national television and radio, and in articles in print publications and online. Villacorta worked closely with Dr. Nancy L. Snyderman, chief medical editor of NBC News, to provide expert nutrition advice on a number of topics for the BeWell network. He is often invited to speak at annual state and national conventions such as The Oregon Dietetic Association (where he was the keynote speaker), and The American Dietetic Association (where he spoke to other dietitian professionals about his successful private practice). Villacorta has acted as a media representative for food companies such as Foster Farms (one of the largest chicken producers on the West Coast) as well as for such California statewide health campaigns as the “California Latino 5-A-Day Program” and “Got Milk.” Prior to setting up his private practice, Villacorta worked as a public health dietitian for California Children Services and the Prenatal to Three Initiative, where he offered prenatal, infant, and childhood nutrition consulting. He has worked as a clinical dietitian for Kaiser Permanente in San Francisco and has held a faculty position with the School of Nursing at the University of San Francisco. Villacorta received his bachelor of science in nutrition and physiology metabolism from the University of California, Berkeley, and his master of science in nutrition and food science from San Jose State University. He has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards for his research, including the Outstanding Master of Science Degree Award from San Jose State University’s Department of Nutrition and Food Science.

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