Now, (to me) it's no shocker (although it still might be to all of you!) that more than one of my recent posts have been about food. It's kinda my new thing. (Well, ok, that's a half-truth, because there are many new things in my life right now worth telling about, although not within this particular blog). So, as I sit in my kitchen tonight smelling my first-ever batch of homemade granola, sipping on a green smoothie and just having finishing some seaweed for dinner, I'm having a mental giggle at just how far my diet, and my cooking, has evolved.
I work with and live around people with some pretty unique diets, and have friends who are incredibly self-conscious about what they eat. At school alone, we have 3-4 coeliacs (can't eat glutenous foods), a few people who are lactose-intolerant, and lots of granola-munching veggie lovers. With exception of Ricco and Mike, who eat out every night, and Michele, who eats cheese and crackers for dinner, the rest of us get along pretty well with our diets. And, per my past post, the contents of my fridge lately have definitely reflected the way I have come to think differently about the food that goes into my body.
Although I have a healthy tolerance for both glutenous and dairy foods, they are two food groups that I try to avoid as much as possible. Last year, during my lactose-free kick, I dropped 5 pounds and 26 cholesterol points, which was enough proof that consuming a lot of dairy isn't necessarily the best for me. Dropping gluten like it's hot was an easy choice to make as well - who needs all that bread and cookies and cereal and cake anyway? To be honest, without the temptation of any of them, I cut out an awful lot of crap from my pantry (and my diet) that I would have normally eaten.
One of the top favorite things of each of my weekends are trips to all of the local greengrocers. It's plural because, although I'd like to tell you that one store is enough, it is commonly known that one certain store sells celery cheap as chips while another store doesn't even sell it at all. And there are other places that, if you're willing to sell your own soul to the devil, you can occasionally find fresh blueberries. SO, when I'm done, 4 stores and ¥10,000 later, I've got a colorful fridge full of amazing things. And no, by amazing, I don't mean string cheese and chocolate milk...
Other visible modifications in my dietary thinking:
*I received a box of Lucky Charms for my birthday this year (thanks, Mom!). Because I'm sitting back on my consumption of glutenous foods, that box of cereal has been sitting in the back of my closet, until this weekend when I did a massive clean of my stuff and donated it to Leila (who accepted with a huge smile on her face!).
*I now bake granola instead of cookies. When I do bake cookies, I use gluten-free flours. Then I give all of the cookies away.
*My new favorite snacks include small packages of wet seaweed, cottage cheese with prune dressing, or homemade whipped spinach hummus.
*Instead of two bowls of cereal for breakfast in the mornings, I drink green smoothies, which are not only delicious, but satisfy my New Year's resolution to 'eat more veggies this year than last, even if I have to drink them'. Raw greens blended in a 40/60 ratio with fresh fruit and water, and your colon is as clean as, well... let's just say they're delicious too.
*Sometimes if I'm particularly craving something salty for brekky, I'll grab an onigiri (triangle-shaped, seaweed-wrapped sushi) from the corner store. This is a real change from two years ago when I'd go traveling, find that the breakfast place we'd stop at served fish/rice/miso soup, and did not, in fact, serve bacon and eggs like I wanted (followed by me crying in frustration).
*Texts to friends whom I normally rely on for cooking/shopping help have changed from, 'Do you have a cup of sugar I can borrow?' to 'Do you know where I can buy pumpkin seeds?'
*During last week's trip to Okinawa I spent a mere $60 combined at the Commissary. My purchases included steel-cut oats, Grape Nuts, flax seed, wheat germ, rice cakes, and almonds of assorted flavors. This very much differs from my usual trips to American-stocked stores and my usual purchases of Twizzlers, Golden Grahams, and 100-Calorie Snack Packs.
To be completely honest, not only is this new change good for my body, but I believe good for my mind as well. It's almost as satisfying emotionally to not crave those Twizzlers in the fridge (thanks, AB!) as it feels to physically not have eaten them. So, part of all of this is mental, but it's a mentality that I think I could get used to. The more healthily I eat, the more healthily I want to eat. Recently, someone who inspires me with his own personal brand of amazingly-insanely-inspiring fitness quirked, "The more I learned about food, the easier my craziness got. As I got more crazy, crazy got easier,' and I could not agree more. For for me, wherein food and healthy eating is concerned lately, the crazier the better.
"Tell me what you eat, I'll tell you who you are."