WIAW: Fulfilling Food Needs

by Sara on May 1, 2013


Hey, hey, happy May Day!

May?! Seriously? Already? 

The year is rocketing by!  However the temperatures most definitely are not rocketing upward–at least not in Boise! The weather has been like a fickle teenager in love lately – first it’s warm, then it’s cool –and yesterday….well, yesterday it was frrrreeezing. 



Oh dear, I sound like a broken record. Well, shoot. Since I’m owning up to it, though, I might as well own up to something else…

I’m still loving on cinnamon toast. BIG TIME.


I mistakenly labeled this loving an “obsession” in my last post, but seeing as we’ve been on-again off-again friends (those low carb bread-less years were pretty miserable!) for as long as I can remember, I’m going to call it a life-long “partnership.”

Obsession, however, might more accurately describe the star of yesterday’s breakfast.


I’ve heard enthusiastic buzz about the egg-jam-cheese trifecta for a few months, but I never expected it to be as knock-your-socks-off yum as it was.

Let it be shouted from the rooftops: eggs, cheese and  jam is…THE JAM.

And I didn’t even know it until yesterday!  What a shame! Ah well…Better late than never. I think this breakfast obsession is soon going to  become a lifelong partnership. 😉


Omelet with Strawberry Jam and Goat Cheese
Recipe type: eggs, breakfast

  • 2 eggs + 1 egg white (or you can use all whites)
  • ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
  • ½ cup finely diced strawberries (these will be used to make your “jam”)
  • Stevia or sweetener of choice

  1. Whisk eggs and egg whites until frothy; set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, toss diced strawberries with stevia, and microwave for one minute, or until soft and jam-like.
  3. Grease a pan with coconut oil, butter or Pam, and heat for a few seconds. Pour egg mixture into pan, and cook over low heat until the center is almost set. Add jam and goat cheese, then fold over.


PicMonkey Collage

And there ya have it—a breakfast, lunch, or dinner chock full of filling protein, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and veggies (if you do the sauteed spinach thing on the side, like I did—and you KNOW you want to! 😉 ).


The Hierarchy of Food Needs 

It goes without saying that I gawk over lots of food on this blog. Heck, I just typed 400 words about an omelet! Food is a happiness thing for me—I love it. I love to eat it, and I definitely love to chat about it. Few things make me happier than a foamy cappuccino, a delectably smooth piece of dark chocolate, perfectly seared scallops, and even

peanut butter wafflewiches! It’s the simple things…


However for many people around the world food isn’t such a simple thing.

The other day, a good friend of mine sent me a link to this article, which explains the hierarchy of food needs. It’s something I’ve been ruminating over for a few days, and it’s made me acutely aware that my interest in food–good food—is an absolute blessing.


If you’re reading this post, you probably have a passion—or at least, interest—in food as well. Perhaps you love cooking or you enjoy trying new restaurants; maybe you’re an athlete who carefully uses food to fuel your workouts; you may even write your own food blog.

Or, it could be that your relationship with food is a little rocky— a bit more love-and-hate. In any case, you’re probably reading this post because you have some sort of interest in food.

Which  also means that you have enough of it. Which means that you have access to a steady stream of it. Which means that you are in a position to make informed, conscious choices about it.

Those of you who studied psychology may recognize this diagram. It’s Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – an illustration of Maslow’s theory that humans must first have basic needs met before we can move on to pursue other, higher needs.



For example, if we don’t have our physiological needs met (like food and water) or our safety needs met (say, we live in a war-torn country) we’re probably not too concerned about building up our self-confidence or finding a career that fosters our creativity. Because we’re just trying to survive.

Similarly, the Hierarchy of Food Needs diagrams our needs, but only needs pertaining to food.


From the article:

The graphic suggests that getting enough food to eat is the most important thing to people.  Having food be acceptable (e.g., not rotten, something you are not allergic to) comes second.  Once those two things are in place, people hope for reliable access to food and only then do they begin to worry about taste.  If people have enough, acceptable, reliable, good-tasting food, then they seek out novel food experiences and begin to make choices as to what to eat for instrumental purposes (e.g., number of calories, nutritional balance).

I’ve always known that I’m extremely blessed to live a life in which all my basic needs are met, however seeing it visually illustrated like this made me pause. I exist entirely at the top of this pyramid: my food decisions—dictated completely by taste, the enjoyment of eating, and the nutritional composition of the food—are indeed higher-level choices.

But the choices made by the majority of people around the world—in this country and others—are determined solely by basic needs; they aren’t concerned about calories or whether carbohydrates or complex or refined because they’re too busy making sure that their families have enough to eat—that no one goes to bed hungry.


I can’t even begin to imagine what what that struggle is like. 

That said, I firmly believe that there’s nothing wrong with having a passion about food, or that we should feel inundated with guilt about our blessings.

However, today I’m taking a moment to pause and be truly thankful for those blessings. I’m taking a moment to think about those who don’t know what it’s like to fantasize excitedly about what to cook for dinner, who instead worry about whether or not it will even exist. I’m taking a moment to thoughtfully consider what I can personally do to reach out to those people – to use my blessings to make their situations just a tiny bit easier—and I hope you’ll join me. :)


Have a wonderful Wednesday, friends! I love you all SO much. <3

This post was part of What I Ate Wednesday. Thanks for hosting, Jenn!


I want to know…

What did YOU eat for breakfast this morning? What’s your favorite salty + sweet combination? What’s your favorite way to eat eggs?

Salty + sweet: Chocolate-covered peanut butter pretzels and kettle corn!

What kinds of things do you do or would you like to do to help people who are hungry? Have you ever volunteered in a soup kitchen or donated money to an organization that works to end hunger?


Have you ever experienced a moment that simply stopped you in your tracks and made you say THANK YOU for all of the blessings in your life? 

Seeing that pyramid really hit home for me; I realized that even though I used to struggle with food—and still do from time to time—I don’t have to worry about getting enough of it to survive. I want to be more grateful for that.



  • Khushboo

    This is such a great, thought-provoking post, Sara! I studied Psychology in school so Maslows’ Hierarchy of Needs is nothing new to me…although I never considered how it approaches to it this way. It’s so true though: we might not be starving but depriving our body of what it truly craves and cutting back on macronutrients only affects other areas of our lives. Ultimately it does hold us back from reaching our potential. Especially after living in Nigeria and now Mumbai, seeing beggars on the road is a daily occurrence. Rather than give them money (and potentially fuel their alcohol addictions), I try to dole out small packets of food or even biscuits…something to keep them going.

    That omelet idea is pure genius…love the cheese, egg and jam combo and you better believe I will be trying that out soon! Also just for the record, your posts & instas always leave me with a hankering for scallops. They are only available in the frozen section of grocery stores here but even so, it’s about time I get myself a bag!

    Have a great Wednesday, Sara!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I think it’s awesome that you pass out small packets of food too beggars in Mumbai; every little bit helps! I do the same in Washington, DC…Sometimes I’ll pick up a few extra yogurts or pre-made sandwiches when I’m in the grocery store, and give them to the homeless men and women sitting outside. Even though it’s not always warmly received (although most of the time it is), I feel good knowing I’m helping in some small way.

      Let me know if you try the omelet! I made it again this morning. :) Happy Wednesday! <3 xoxoxo

  • http://twitter.com/FitSwissChick Lucie Pfaendler

    This is all SO true. We sould appreciate and show thankfulness for all the food we have access to! So many human beings in this world don’t and we should never forget that. I lived in the Phillipines a few years ago for a volunteership and it was the best experience I did in my life. Living with them, without big access to food, very limited power and running water – it really puts things into the right perspective.

    Besides that: I can not get over how delicious that omelett looks. I want itmin my lofe right now!
    Sweet and Salty: 1. Almond Butter with salt and honey 2.. Dates wrapped in Bacon
    Sending you tons of hugs, love you!!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      The post you wrote about your experience in the Philippines brought tears to my eyes! I think it’s amazing that you dedicated so much time to helping families living in poverty–you have such a huge heart, Lucie! <3

      Oooh, dates wrapped in bacon! Love love love!! <3 xoxo

  • Sophia

    I don’t come from a wealthy background but I have always had enough- I am so deeply grateful for this gift. I am acutely aware of how much of the world just fights to survive and a world of equality is what we should aspire to- something world leaders and big companies often neglect! The poor, forgotten and most vulnerable such as refugees are so often treated with suspicion and neglect when they are in need of compassion. I spent 3 months in Kenya working with children and the joy they had for the smallest kindness and necessities we take for granted stopped me in my tracks for sure. Sorry I feel so strongly and am striving to become a human rights lawyer so I can make some difference in someone’s life I hope. Love your omelet- I eat up to 6 whole eggs a day (usually 4 at least) love eggs anyway but Scrambled is Definetley up there or savoury French toast (sweet kind is something so foreign to me – I’ve only seen it on blogs :)) I had scrambled eggs with cream and chives on grilled focaccia with tomatos this morning. Hmm sweet/salty umm- I don’t know if this counts but ice cream, olive oil and salt is pretty awesome! Also salty yogurt such as Ayran- yum xo Sophia

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      You have such a big and beautiful heart, Sophia! <3 I'd love to hear more
      about your experience working with children in Kenya; it sounds like it was a life-changing three months. I helped build houses in Costa Rica for a month, and like you, was blown away by the JOY people were filled with, despite living in the depths of poverty. It was so humbling.

      Oh my goodness, everything about your breakfast this morning sounds amazing–especially the grilled focaccia! Can I come over tomorrow morning? 😉 I've never heard of salty yogurt, but I'm really intrigued. And ice cream with salt and olive oil sounds absolutely incredible. Yum! Hugs <3 xoxo

      • Sophia

        I’d love the company tomorrow morning! You are welcome anytime 😉 Your heart is Beautiful Sara! Costa rica would have left just as big an impression upon you as my experience did- that’s a remarkable thing to have given your time to! Kenya did make me decide I wanted to specialise in human-rights law instead of environmental. Olive oil on vanilla ice cream with just a hint of sea salt is amazing! Let me know if you try it :) love and many hugs Sophia

  • http://balancejoyanddelicias.wordpress.com/ Coco

    I’d love to try your egg combo, sounds delish. i think the goat cheese + jam is really a magic combo.
    I like salty sweet combination a lot although can’t think of one now.
    I’m going to have oatmeal with aduki mousse and justin almond butter.

    My work is about eradicating poverty in the world, so I think I’m helping in a indirect way to end hunger.

    yesterday i met with a friend who’s going through divorce and custody fight with her abusive husband. It made me realized that I’ve taken for granted how wonderful is my husband.

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Ooh, please tell me more about aduki mousse! I’m intrigued!

      I think it’s wonderful that you’re working to eradicate poverty in the world; we need more people like you!

  • Allison @ Life’s a Bowl

    This is a wonderful post – tons of tasty eats and a great message behind it all, thanks for sharing! My favorite combo is salty + sweet or savory + sweet! Cheese + jam, pretzels + dark chocolate, kettle corn… I could go on and on 😛

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Thanks, girl! Ooh, cheese + jam + pretzels + chocolate sounds incredibly yummy!

  • http://twitter.com/kissmybroccoli Heather Powers

    I’m with you on the chocolate pretzels and kettle corn, but lately I’ve been all about the “monster” trail mix with peanuts, raisins, and M&M’s! I love how the raisins get coated with salt! And I absolutely LOVE YOU for making your way into the wonderful world of eggs with cheese and jam!! There’s no going back now! Lol

    Love all the things you shared in this post! Really gets you thinking about the important things in life and what we take for granted sometimes.

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Oh man, monster trail mix is SO addicting! I love love love the M&M + peanuts + raisins combo—it reminds me of camping when I was little; we used to buy huge bags of that, and it eat it all day looooong. 😀

  • Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    I adore the eggs, jam and cheese combo…I’ve never thought to try it in an omelet though! Must give that a shot sometime. Salty/sweet combo – pretzels and chocolate in some form. Or, popcorn and M&Ms…(now I’m thinking I need to make that at some point today).

    And thank you for getting your readers to think with this post! In the blog world, we’re all obsessed with food, different food experiences, the novelty of food, and the nutritional value/content/getting our ‘proper’ macros…where there’s a lot of people in the world who worry about where their next meal is coming from. Definitely puts it in perspective! I did a bit of psych in high school/undergrad so I remember Maslow’s needs pyramid, so it’s cool how Satter was able to morph it into food needs.

    Enjoy your Wednesday Sara! <3

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I’m so on board with the popcorn + M&M’s combination! I may be making it, too. Want to come over and chow down with me?

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin

    Thanks for this post girl. It’s so easy to take food for granted when we’re used to it never being a concern for us. But every once in a while I see or hear something that makes me so thankful for being able to enjoy such good food. I hope as an RD in the future I’ll be able to have input on food security policies to help improve access to food for everyone.

    I’ve never tried pairing something sweet with my eggs before – it still weirds me out a bit haha. But I do love the sweet and salty combination. Salted chocolate is the best! Or bacon in sweet desserts is also amazing.

    Have a great Wednesday! xoxo

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I was SO skeptical about sweet eggs, too! It took me years to try it, but now I’m never going back. Don’t wait any longer!! 😉

      I completely agree with you about salted chocolate (how did I forget that one?!), and bacon in dessert. Have you ever tried chocolate-covered bacon? xoxo

  • http://twitter.com/flakeandcake Claire

    That breakfast Sara.. WOW is all I can say. I almost scrolled past it when I saw cheese as I can’t eat cow’s cheese but as it is made with goat cheese I can eat it and am therefore obsessed! Thank you so much for the post, it was really thought provoking and made me want to do more to help. I’d love to help out in a soup kitchen and we always donate money/clothes/items to charity shops. We also send a shoe box of gifts to children every Christmas. Sweet and salty is the best combo – salted caramel for example!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Oooh, I adore salted caramels, too! I think you’ll LOVE the goat cheese and jam combination–let me know if you try it! Happy Wednesday, Claire!

  • http://twitter.com/AnnaTheApple88 Anna Smith-James

    Omelettes are one of my most favourite easy meals. I always tend to throw them together when I can’t be bothered to make anything else. Your goats cheese and jam one looks reeeaally good. Goats cheese is definitely one of my favourite cheeses and pairing it with a bit of sweetness sounds divine.
    Sweet and salty combo….hmmm…pretzels probably. Though I do like mixing popcorn.
    Ahh I remember that diagram from my university days…I studied psychology so this is quite familiar. But so interesting how it’s been applied to food! Really fascinating and makes quite a lot of sense. It’s easy to forget that food for us so available. We’re so fortunate that the choices we can make are ‘what’ shall I eat today rather than ‘will I get to eat’ today. I fear I don’t do nearly enough. Sure I give to charity and raise money for different causes when I run races but I really know I should do more :(

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      It sounds like you do lots to help! Every little bit helps! <3 I hope you try the sweet + savory omelet…I think you'll really like it! Hugs! xoxo

  • cori @olivetorun.com

    I love the “someone else is praying for” poster… it’s a great quote to keep in mind at all times.
    My breakfast this whole week has been egg whites with spinach and then avocado on the side. Protein and happy fats packed in :)
    My salty plus sweet combo is definitely pretzels with pb. :)

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      Oooh, pretzels dipped in PB is one of my favorites, too!

  • caitlyn @ city and the cubicle

    right?! how did this happen? may came flyin’ outta nowhere. love your eats and i love this post. thanks for this. it is so easy to take food for granted. i volunteered in a soup kitchen a few times, and the first time i went home and cried. as we had been preparing the food i was thinking how gross all the food looked and i wouldn’t eat it then the people started coming through the line, and little kids were jumping up and down from excitement when he saw all the food while their parents kept blessing us and thanking us for the food. that first day was quite a nice perspective giver/changer!

    • http://www.nourish-and-flourish.net Sara Stewart

      I used to volunteer is a soup kitchen once/week when I was in high school, and I’d often leave flooded with simultaneous sadness and joy. The food we served looked so inedible to me, but the joy and gratitude expressed by the recipients was so humbling. It really put things into perspective for me, too!

  • Jess @ JessieBear

    Interesting pyramid. And OMG that omelet looks amaaazing.

  • http://twitter.com/HealthyDiva31 HealthyDiva

    I can’t believe how cold it is there, hopefully it will warm up soon!
    I love your breakfast, as soon as I saw it on instagram I fell in love! Anything with goat cheese I love pretty much 😉

    Love you and hope all is well! <3

  • Hannah Brower

    Eek you’re so right about the food needs. I think about that sometimes, guiltily.

    Good news though, I have all the ingredients for that omelette and I’m so making it!

    Salty and sweet….hm….nut butter + anything. Classic combo.

    Breakfast this morning was strawberries + a rice cake mooshed up in 1/2 a block of pureed tofu with a liberal serving of cinnamon served with sunflower seed butter and coconut butter to dip. Strange, but good.

    I like to give back by volunteering and also by just being mindful and reminding others to do so as well.

  • Emily @ Glitz Glam Granola

    What a powerful post my friend. I think seeing those pyramids really hit home for me too. The first was so interesting and yet simple at the same time- of course if people don’t have their basic needs met, then they will be unable to cultivate anything else. And with the second, how many people in the world live in the bottom of the pyramid- just desperate for food, and not knowing where their next meal will come from. I will be thinking about this all day today, as I enjoy snacks and lunch and not having to stress about it. Thanks for this post!

    PS Eek for the cold temps in Boise but it’s warm in SF this week! 😉

  • http://twitter.com/AshLWiseman Ashley

    I had bran flakes with a sliced banana and milk with decaf coffee (quick and easy because I had a baby to attend to!), and then I had a Quest bar soon after that. I looove sweet + salty stuff. My favorites are the same as yours – chocolate/yogurt covered pretzels and kettle corn!

  • runwithspoons

    Another incredibly thought-provoking post, Sara. I completely take my food blessings for granted. Although I haven’t always been concerned with the ingredients of my food, I’ve never known a time where I didn’t have enough food to eat and had to go hungry, and it’s difficult for me to imagine being in that kind of situation. Still, I’ve recently become more and more aware of just how petty some of my food concerns are/were, and that’s definitely made it easier to let go of some of my past hangups on food and stop caring so much. I’m not saying I want to gorge myself on junk food 24/7, but I’m not going to overly stress myself out over my food choices either. Heck, that added stress is probably worse for us in the long run anyways.

  • http://lisalately.com/ Lisa

    Can’t believe it’s May either! Nutty!
    I have a recipe on my site for strawberry goat cheese, which reminds me of this post:) Love that stuff, and miss my goat cheese. Boo.
    Such a great post love! It’s very interesting to see those food pyramids and think how many people would be SO thankful to be in the position I’m in now.
    It’s so easy for us to take things for granted, I try not too. But, sometimes it happens. I guess we all struggle with different things and obviously they vary from person to person and just because we’re not in the same position doesn’t mean we don’t struggle. It’s part of life, but it truly makes me appreciate my situation a lot more. Compared to what others have to face.
    Sometimes I feel guilty over that, but I try not too. Instead I try and help in any ways I can, whether it be through donation or volunteering. Which reminds me I need to start volunteering again.
    Okay, I just went on like 80 different tangents. Oops.
    Thank you for this amazing post, it’s good to be reminded of things like this.
    LOVE YOUUU!! And miss you!

  • sweetonnh

    Okay, please can I have your cinnamon toast recipe?

  • Lindsay @ The Functional Foodi

    Peanut butter waffles look and sound delicious. I’m definitely going to have to go out and buy me some waffles now. I had an oatmeal shake this morning for breakfast. It was my first time making a shake, so it was interesting. I’m definitely going to now make some crazy recipes in the near future.

  • Debbie (Accidently Delish)

    so i have definitely done the sweet eggs. love it. but really i’ll put jam on anything, BUT i have not ventured out to the goat cheese which i see EVERYONE do and rave about. i think i need to take that step.

  • http://twitter.com/healthlovechoc Gina Topley

    I thinks this perspective on food is always good to keep in the back of our minds to remind ourselves just how lucky we truly are to be able to choose what, when, and how we eat. Thanks for reminding me to give thanks :-).

    And I am completely and 100 percent on the egg/goat cheese/jam and fruit train with you. It is just so so good, and your omelette looks amazing.

    Happy Monday girly, can’t wait for your visit! :-)

  • Lillian_SeizeTheLatte

    I love this, Sarah — it’s so true. When you step back to look at the big picture, it’s worth bearing in mind that many, many peoples’ most basic needs are never met. I especially love your call to action on this front: there’s something that *everyone* can do, from donating to volunteering to simply saying a prayer for/thinking of those who are in need.

    There are some awesome organizations/nonprofits that focus on this stuff, and their work in this field is vital. One of my dear friends hosts a fundraising dinner each year called We Eat So They Can, and all the proceeds go to organizations that fight hunger. It’s been an awesome experience for all involved!

    (side note: hooray for Maslow! He and Jung were my favorite psychologists back in my undergrad days.)

  • Liv @ Life as Liv

    Mmm, I had a big messy bowl of greek yogur this morning. Fage 2%, banana, defrosted cherries, cinnamon, sunbutter, and granola. Just thinking about it makes me want breakfast again.

  • Sally

    I love salty+sweet popcorn! The food needs pyramid was new to me…so interesting. Thanks for reminding us all not to take our food for granted. xo

  • Melissa @ Mouthwatering Morsel

    I love the cold. it’s getting to hot for me here. haha annnnd you cook for me I’ll bake for you. deallllllllll. and yes. always be thankful!! :) great post girl!!

  • Julie Luong

    Great post, especially the hierarchy of food needs. Very eye opening. I had some chicken for breakfast!

  • Lucy @The Moving Muncher

    Sara, this is a really apt post as I read a news article this week about a yearly campaign which asks us to challenge ourselves into thinking about extreme poverty. It’s called ‘Live Below The Line’ where you are urged to live on just £1 ($1.50 if you’re in the US) a day for 5 days. That means a total of £5 – something that I could just flutter away easily on a coffee and a muffin. I really wanted to take part (but read the article too late) so am going to try to do it next year. Thank you for highlighting something which most of us take for granted :)

  • http://www.starsystemz.com/blog Courtney Violet Bentley

    Wow what a powerful post, really got me thinking about how lucky I am, how lucky we are! Omelet looks delicious I wish I could have dairy when i see posts like these! My favorite breakfast is puffins peanut butter and cinnamon with almond milk and sending you lots of love for the weekend! LOVE + Shine Courtstarstevia..heaven! I have not had it in awhile trying to eat more protein so eggs has been the happs..

  • Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen

    Thanks for sharing that graphic. I often forget–as horrible as it is–that while I’m able to walk into a grocery store and pretty much get anything I want, there are people out there who would be clamoring for a bowl of rice if they could get it.

    We are super blessed to be able to even explore our interest in food and cooking!

  • Claire@Keeping Up With Claire

    Okay the gummy bears story is so funny-and it totally reminded me of this guy I dated in college. He played lacrosse and the first game I went to, I saw him eating what looked like candy-but I swore it had to be some kind of energy gel. When I asked him about it, he told me the trainer gave them jellybeans during the game so they didn’t get tired from all the running. I thought this was hilarious and sure enough, next game I paid close attention and she was feeding them all Starburst jellybeans whenever they’d come out of the game. So funny!

    Also, I run around downtown Orlando a couple days a week and seeing all of the homeless people always makes me sad. It’s so HOT and I can’t imagine sitting outside all day without water. When I told my coworkers I was going to bring bottles of water to give them, they told me I could get a citation or arrested. Seriously? For helping them…awesome. And now that I’ve written my life story, I’m off to the pool. Hope you’re having fun in Cali love!

  • Emma

    I happened to stumbled upon this recipe and knew I had to try it. Made it for dinner w/ some roasted veggies on the side and it was fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

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