I finally did it! I feel like a deserve a standing ovation or a trophy or something. For two years now, I’ve talked about starting a food blog. The idea of having a forum to share my passion for cooking and healthy eating was so exciting, but there was always something sucking up my free time. First, it was long hours at work from being short-staffed, then it was buying a house and the subsequent DIY projects (thank you Pinterest for that never ending list), and then planning a wedding. But when my big excuse became catching up on episodes 1 through 121 of Gossip Girl, I realized I only had one excuse all along – fear. Fear that my blog wouldn’t be funny, interesting or insightful. Fear that no one would read it. Fear that it would be blatantly obvious I slept through a couple of English classes. But this year, I made a resolution to push myself and to do things that are outside of my comfort zone. And this is one of those things! So, here it is. My very own food and nutrition blog. I thought a lot about the best way to introduce my little blog to the world (which of course led to another couple weeks of procrastination). I decided the best way for us to become acquainted is to share my food philosophy.
I believe in eating real food, not nutrients.
Whole foods are so much more than the macronutrients - fat, protein, and carbohydrate - they are composed of. Both healthy and unhealthy foods contain varying ratios of macronutrients. When a "low-this" or "high-that" diet becomes popular, food processors are able to manufacture foods with the aura of health by adding or subtracting nutrients. The perfect example came with the low fat diet fad, when fats were stripped from foods like ice cream, cookies and salad dressing, while refined flours and added sugar took their place.
A perfect example of the pitfalls of this nutrient approach to dieting is in one of my all time favorite movies, Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion. Michele: Did you lose weight? Romy: Actually, I’ve been trying this new fat free diet I invented. All I’ve had to eat for the past six days are gummy beans, jelly beans and candy corn. Michele: God, I wish I had your discipline. It may seem exaggerated for comedic effect, but I see people make the same mistake every day. You see, just because a food is gluten-free/fat-free/carbohydrate-free/high-fiber/high-protein/low-cholesterol/high-calcium/trans fat-free, does not mean it is healthy.
I believe in the power of plants.
I’m not a vegan. I’m not even a vegetarian. And you don’t need to be either, that is, if you enjoy eating meat. But I do think we all need to move towards a more plant-based diet, flexitarian if you like, if not for your own health then for the health of our planet.
I don’t believe in diets.
Starting a diet implies there will be an end to your diet. Instead, focus on lifestyle changes. Follow your diet, just make it healthier. If you can’t commit to a diet change for the rest of your life, then it’s probably not a good change to make.
I believe in celebrating your culture through the foods that you eat.
Most diets completely ignore the fact that food is more than just fuel, it’s part of our culture and heritage. Many of our food preferences are dictated by our cultural heritage. And most of these traditional foods are super healthy. Think unrefined corn meal, beans, and squash in Mexico, olive oil and greens in the Mediterranean, fatty fish in Scandinavia. Even here in the fried chicken and biscuit loving South, we traditionally ate a vegetable based diet. Incorporating more traditional foods from your culture is a healthy step, and will fulfill you spiritually. I also believe in celebrating other cultures by the foods you eat.
Travel is a passion of mine. When I am in another city or country, I want to try as many local dishes as I can. Sometimes it’s healthy...
Other times, not so much...
I believe in loving every bite of food that crosses your lips.
Eating should be pleasurable. Your first priority in choosing what to eat should be taste. It may sound counterintuative, but well prepared foods made with fresh, whole ingredients are delicious and healthy. My advice - eat healthy food you love 90% of the time, and allow yourself not-so-healthy food you love the other 10%. I hope my personal food philosophy gets you thinking about what guides your food decisions. But enough of my babbling! Stay tuned for recipes, since I know that's what y'all really want!