Cooking: MY Silver Lining from a Bad time
Years ago, I didn’t know how to cook. And I was proud it of. I thought cooking was old fashioned. Not something that feminists did.
Then I got very sick with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and I could no longer eat out or grab take out. To heal, I needed to cook for myself, but everything I made was a mushy goulash. It was a mess.
I kept cooking, and I eventually learned to make food I loved. And I began to like cooking. It even turned into a creative outlet.
As my body healed from eating a grain-free, whole food diet I was awed by the power of food. My gut and immune system were transformed. I lost weight and gained energy. I even cured my food allergies.
The Paleo diet was the answer to my multi year battle with IBS. If you want to know more about that journey, I blog about it at www.diyhealthblog.com.
After a year of strict Paleo (I was not allowed to have nuts, dried fruit, chocolate, pork or coffee/black tea) I returned to eating a healthy version of the standard American diet. And I gained weight.
I returned to the Paleo diet after starting my digestive health coaching business. The stress of being an entrepreneur made me gain even more weight. Particularly in my belly. I also started having trouble sleeping and having mood swings.
After 6 months on Paleo I lost 10 pounds and started sleeping soundly. Here are my before and after photos:
Grain and bean-free cooking steps up my culinary creativity and adds more veggies to my plate.
Getting off grains wasn’t easy. But I started slow, swapped out the bread and muffins with grain-free baked goods, and gave myself one cheat meal per week. Pretty soon my body was craving the healthy Paleo cuisine I was feeding it.
I love experimenting with recipes I find online. I learn by playing. And then I get to eat my lesson.
I don’t eat grain-free because it’s the way our ancestors ate. I do it because it makes me feel great and it’s a relatively easy diet to follow even when going out. Salads, protein and veggies are always on the menu.
What I eat
I follow most of the guidelines of the Paleo diet, avoiding processed foods, refined sugar, soy, beans and grains. But I am not a stickler for the rules. If you want to get technical, I’m Primal not Paleo because I do eat a small amount of high quality dairy (life would be sad without yogurt and feta cheese).
But labels are silly. If you want to eat hummus, don’t sweat it. Stress and guilt will hurt you more than anything else. The Paleo police don’t exist. So eat what makes you feel good! Except for gluten and wheat. That stuff is evil.
But life is about more than cooking and working. Here are some of my major life milestones…