First, I’ll explain my lengthy absence…. back track to two weeks before Christmas – illness hit our house, first with my daughter, then me. And it didn’t end there… from stomach bugs to headaches, ear infections, kidney infection, laryngitis, body aches and chills (not necessarily in that order), it was a hellish month! Add to that our trusty van dying, the dog nearly dying and all of it sans hubby. Let’s hope there is something to be said for ending a year with difficulty. Out with the old and in with the new!!
01/01/11 That date has a whole lot of ones…. does that mean this year will be full of firsts? New beginnings? I’m sure an astrologer would have an answer to that question. For me however, 2010 had a lot of firsts… starting with this blog! That was a huge first. Followed by adopting a strict vegan diet (I lasted 8 months), my husband started a new business which took him to China for 3 weeks at a time… a HUGE first for both of us. From the two of us working from home side by side 24/7, his absence was a big adjustment. 2010 was the first year I did NOT send out Christmas cards. Sometimes, you have to let things fall in order to get through a challenge. So, if you noticed you didn’t get a card from me, you were not on my naughty list this year, I simply had to lessen my load.
Now, looking into 2011, I can see a lot of firsts already…
First #1 – a renovation – my kitchen!! A long awaited venture (16 years!!) for which the hugely exciting planning process has already begun. Look out cookbooks! A new space is being created just for you…. ;o)
First #2 – Paris France – a place I’ve longed to visit… a foodie heaven…THE most romantic destination in the world! I WILL see Paris this year! Two firsts already and January has just begun. I say 2011 looks like a pretty exciting year so far!
What about resolutions? People always talk about resolutions come the new year…. I hear a lot of talking about diets, cleanses, new workout routines, less wine, more family time and personal promises to make big changes…. . Although starting a new routine is good, especially one that will improve your overall health, it’s important to go into such big changes with the right attitude and expectations. People often ask me, “how do you stay so thin when all you do is cook and eat?!” Well, I am not a certified nutritionist, not even close actually, but I do love food. I always have. I remember loving watching my mom cook, then my sisters. Watching, helping and learning and tasting. Paying attention to their ease and imagining myself one day in a kitchen of my own, cooking and feeding friends and family. Whenever I was in a waiting room, it would be the Gourmet or BonAppetite magazines I would pick up. I would read the recipes and dream of creating them one fine day. Today my cookbook collection covers many different countries and ethnic cooking methods. Over the years, my cooking has changed from trying to create fancy gourmet meals to making clean, wholesome, comfortable food. ”Fancy” as my husband would stay still happens sometimes, but it’s more about balance and awareness.
I love the word awareness… being aware of your surroundings, your body, your feelings and your instincts. So… getting back to the question (how do you stay thin?) I am aware of what I eat – I eat real food, unprocessed food, local and chemical free food as often as I can. I read labels always. I rarely eat fast food and I never drink pop (that’s soda for my American friends).
I am aware that the world we live in has families that eat pizza, hot dogs, chicken fingers and fries, hamburgers and kraft dinner most nights of the week. I am aware that the companies that make these foods tell us it is good for us (shame on them!). I understand that not everyone has the time to make a perfect healthy meal every night of the week, but you can start by making simple changes:
- omit white bread, buy wholesome whole grain bread without chemicals. No excuses. See Rudolph’s Bread
- include a variety of fresh local fruits and vegetables daily
- don’t buy soda pop, don’t even bring it into the house. No excuses.
- read labels on everything you buy – if you don’t know what it is, it probably isn’t food. Don’t buy it.
- refined sugar – it’s nasty. Look for it, watch for it, stay away from it.
- visit local farms, meet the farmers, find a home delivery resource, it makes life sooo easy. See Plan B Organic Farms. Support local sustainable farmers as often as you can.
- Eat less meat. Pay attention to the amount of animal products you are eating – eggs, milk, butter, yogurt, cheese, lunch meat, chicken for dinner. You don’t need that much in your daily diet. Attempt one, then two, three or four days without any animal products. Your body will thank you.
- Create a new habit of eating salad every night with dinner. It’s a gift to you and your children.
Even if you can only manage two or three things on that list and make them your new normal, you have done good.
I will never be a true “vegan”. This I discovered when I broke down in tears in a local cheese shop. I spent eighty dollars on cheese that day and was happy I did! It was over just like that. Eight months of a vegan diet ended in eighty dollars worth of wonderful cheese.
Maybe the word “Vegetarian” feels more comfortable? It did until my husband said we eat fish, so we’re called “pescitarians” and if we eat turkey (or chicken) once in a while, we’re called “poulitarians”. He added, we could also be called “locavours” because we eat local food. He smiles. Okay okay!! Enough of the labels. I never did like labels, so I’m removing labeling what we may or may not be because of what we may or may not consume from my vocabulary. Done.
I’ve been seeing this poster popping up on quite a few blogs lately and I think it sums it up quite nicely. Such simple wise words. Can you believe it was created in about 1917? Amazing, isn’t it? I think I will have it framed and hung in my new kitchen!
Lastly, (my rant is nearly done, really) I am also aware of a shift in awareness. Do you feel it? More people are reading labels and asking questions. They are listening to their instincts that prompt them to make a change in the way they eat and feed their families. Awareness is spreading it’s lovely wings and creating a change for the better. Excellent!
Oh! I forgot to mention…..I believe in having one (okay, maybe two) hotdogs a year – on that perfect summer day, by the pool, with the kids. So there!
Rant officially over.
I wonder what November the 11th will bring? How rare are those numbers? 11/11/11