Baking is bad...so I thought!
This past week I’ve been focusing on the 5 key ingredients needed to feel good in your body & life.
Each ingredient is so important, I've been focusing on each one individually.
Today's ingredient is...FUN.
Ironically, I believe the importance of this key ingredient to feeling good in your body & life has been forgotten by many. It breaks my heart that sooo many people I meet find eating to be challenging, stressful, 'making them fat' & something they wish they never had to do.
If you feel this way towards eating, then FUN is most likely the last word you would ever use to describe your relationship with food.
My personal journey with food is long, deep and vast. I’m finally at a place in my life where eating is actually fun + nutritious.
The turning point for me was baking!
Yes,that's right....by really allowing myself to bake again everything changed!
Baking reconnected me with eating in a way that was fun, sensual & creative.
Words that I certainly did not associate with eating in the past.
So what shifted?
Well, just a quick trip down memory lane...
I grew up on the standard American diet know as the SAD diet. My family ate lots of frozen meals and processed foods. I ate a lot of sugar and I had a particular fondness for doughnuts especially maple bars and apple fritters.
It wasn’t until I moved away from my hometown that I started making the connection between food and how I felt. Once I realized how heavy and tired I felt when I consumed meat, I decided to become a vegetarian.
Looking back at that time, I thought I was eating a healthy diet yet, I was really a 'junk food vegetarian.' I loved all the fake meat products and consumed tons of soy.
Fast-forward 10 years, and I was diagnosed with Graves Disease which means I had a hyper-thyroid and was told I would need to be on medication for the rest of my life.
This became a huge turning point with my relationship with food. Health challenges often work as a 'wake up call' & inspire us to make life changes.
I started learning all I could about nutrition...using food as medicine became my main focus.
I enrolled in a masters program in nutrition. I was able to heal my thyroid and stop taking medication. Through that process, I became consumed with what I was eating and began a quest to see how far I could push the limits with my body and nutrition.
I learned all I could about superfoods and exotic medicinal ingredients.
Yet, something was still missing...
I was relentless...and believed the peace I was searching for with food would be found through education. Additionally, I thought that if I ate the most 'pristine diet', it would surely provide me with the 'path to salvation'.
Ummmhh, far from it!
What I found at the end of this path was a life filled with restriction, rules and loneliness.
And, anything but fun.
My quest for learning had provided me with lots of knowledge yet, I had lost the magic in eating.
I could spew off a whole lotta scientific stats around all the amazing ingredients I was using however, I felt a disconnection to WHY I was eating in the first place.
I had focused too much on the science of nutrition and not enough on fun and magic that I now know is just as equally important.
In my search of finding the perfect diet, I ended up hitting a gigantic wall.
I had taken eating to such an extreme that it was no longer pleasurable or sustainable.
Have you ever had a time where food didn’t excite you at all... like when you walk around the grocery store and can't find anything that you want to eat?
This was me...completely unexcited, disconnected and in a space where I ate only because I had to.
I was at a low point in my life.
I had worked in the nutrition field for the past 10 + years and now I could care less what I ate and I wasn’t inspired to make food for others.
I started looking at all my restrictions and rules around eating. I questioned everything. I broke up with my teachers. I slowly began to untangle the web I had created with all of my beliefs and desires with what the experts had told me.
And...I started baking again.
This may seem silly however, it was a HUGE and profound action for me to take.
I love baking. I hadn’t baked anything for over 12 years because once I started on the path of healing my body and educating myself on nutrition, I convinced myself that 'baking was bad."
As strange as it might sound…baking became my gateway to unleashing my inner Food Wizard.
Once I gave myself permission to bake again, the other rules and restrictions started to melt away because I allowed myself to enjoy the foods I really loved that I had deemed bad while avoiding them for years.
Once I start eating for pleasure and nourishment, everything changed in my life. I saw the magic in food again. Eating became fun again.
Now, I spend hours and hours combing through cookbooks and searching the web to find inspiration to make recipes that will excite and satisfy you. My inner Food Wizard was inside me all along, I just needed to give her permission to come out to play.
What about you?
Is eating fun for you?
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