"Clean eating is a vehicle, an approach, that helps make foods work for us. But it is also much bigger than that. It is a way of thinking that helps us move away from the fear of aging and getting ill, and moves us toward the strength of knowing that we can take control of our health.
When food starts working for us, instead of against us, our entire life changes. Not only do we feel better meal to meal and day to day, but we also have the lasting energy and health we need to show up strong for the areas of life we care about most."
The last two years has been a vivid, experiential, experimental, and eye-opening wellness journey. If they say the journey is the destination, then I guess I made it! I hope this will be the first of several posts to describe if not define these deliberate steps I've taken.
I started cooking for myself years ago, but I couldn't control portions. I never "dieted" because I was smart enough to know it wouldn't last. I tried swimming. I researched bariatric surgery. I tracked calories consumed and expended for many months. I started cooking like mad in the months before the surgery, convinced if I could fall in love with healthy preparation, I might want to eat it, too. I carefully monitored my two autoimmune diseases and talked to all of the specialists I could stand. I had the surgery. I was very ill for 8 weeks. Then the weight started falling off, and I planned, learned and cooked exponentially more.
Today I feel fantastic. 90 pounds off my body in one year. Energy off the charts. Swimming a few times a week; I love moving for the first time in my life. The learning curve was huge. As huge as I used to be before I could cross my legs.
Don't get me wrong, there have been lots of bumps, trials and errors. I want to share and record this moment. Take stock (low-sodium chicken) of what I've gleaned, realizing that this reflection on food, exercise, health, and wellness are MY particular combination. What has worked or not worked for MY BODY, not my mother's nor my brother's nor yours. Kind of like every woman having to figure out the best birth control for their particular chemistry, so food.
I'll be sharing the books and websites that have informed me. I'll share lots of recipes and my own photography of those meals. I'll describe portions, what I can physically eat in a day. What kinds of foods and preparations are working for me, as well as particular foods and preparations that are just toxic for me.
This is why I like the term "clean eating". It's about whole foods: meats, vegetables, fruits, grains. Not processed, packaged, unpronounceable. Not even "natural" or "health" food. Much of that is as processed as Kraft macaroni and cheese and oreos.
More than just the food, I want to talk about culinary art, presentation, the kitchen as a studio, the joy of feeding others the beautiful, scrumptious things I make, the emotions and excuses around food, the social culture around food, where moving might fit in (you know, exercise), where my time has shifted (the literal hours in a day) as a result of healthful routine, how my body was restricted at 284 pounds, and how my body works differently now 90 pounds lighter. I'm sure many other threads will surface. Let's begin.
At my heaviest. I could not fit on every ride.
A few months ago. My Dad said it was nice to see angles on my face.