When I was younger it was all chicken nuggets and french fries for me. That and cereal were staples of my diet. Child nutrition wasn’t a focus for my generation and I was always naturally slender so little attention was paid to my poor eating choices.
As a high schooler, I was maybe 110 lbs. soaking wet and as a part of early dismissal I would stop by McDonalds for a Superzised number 10 (chicken nuggets, natch) with coke, and an Oreo McFlurry (back in MY day there was only one flavor of McFlurry!) at least three times a week.
As a college student I struggled with portion control as I was exposed to an all-you-can-eat buffet of foods for three meals a day. Ice cream and french fries were staples. Later in college, over the course of two years I would become vegetarian, then vegan, then a carnivore again. Over this time my taste buds adapted and changed. And wouldn’t you know it, a staple of my diet while being vegan and vegetarian was the french fry (I’m really good at health, you guys).
When I moved back home I became a personal trainer and worked out regularly but was heavier than ever before. Since leaving a university setting I’ve tried low-carb, no-carb, Paleo, flexitarian, gluten-free, and other options to try to stay a healthy weight while I work out and attempt to conquer adulthood. All the while I’ve been binging on chicken wings (ooh, diversity), french fries, and sweet treats.
I restrict. I binge. Wash, rinse, repeat.
It doesn’t take a dietitian to tell you that’s not healthy behavior. I struggle with portion control and self control. I struggle with wanting to eat fried food and frozen yogurt every day instead of broccoli. I struggle. A lot. But it doesn’t have to be so hard.
Recently I made a promise to myself to focus on me. I want to be a healthier, stronger, happier me. And a big part of that is getting control of my disordered eating. Not only will this help me, but it will help my husband too who has a lot of the same issues I do, and hopefully when the time comes for us to bring a tiny person into the world we will have mostly sorted out our food issues so that we can save our child from going through that struggle too (as for the rest of their life? we make no promises on not totally messing the imaginary kid up).
In our house there is no more calorie counting. No more food guilt. No more food regret. We are doing away with those things and we are doing that by focusing on healthy eating.
What is healthy eating?
What is real food?
I’m not going to act like we’re only going to buy the most humanely raised, local, organic everything. We don’t have that privilege. We typically try to avoid additives and hormones where we can but if the value chicken is $2.99 and the organic, locally and humanely raised chicken is $8.99, we’re just not in a place to choose the fancy chicken. So we make adjustments and we buy from farmer’s markets when we can.
This journey is a new one and since I’ve started I’ve posted some pictures of the recipes I’ve made with great response from my friends and family. Hence, a new feature to my blog. Real Food Experiments.
In this space I’ll be documenting all of my new recipe adventures with eating real food and cooking for my little family. The good, the bad, and the pizza-night inducing. I’ll let you know when and why we loved something or we didn’t. I’ll let you know how many scraps my dog got to eat off the floor because I was too slow to pick them up and he’s a floor scrap ninja. I’ll let you know where the recipes came from because I’m all about giving credit where credit is due. And if I decide to try to make recipes myself (not likely) I’ll share those too.
I’m going to share when we’re able to spend an entire week eating all real food and I’m going to share when we spend an afternoon eating out and drinking at wineries (our anniversary is coming up, I’m so ready, come to me bread and booze and chocolate).
And of course, I’m going to supply the nutritional info when I can. Most online recipes are void of nutritional information but I’m going to use the magical interwebz to help me compile this information whenever possible. I want to know, you want to know, but I can’t guarantee 100% accuracy as, of course, ingredients may vary.
So, get excited for my Real Food Experiments. I hope you enjoy the ride and get some good recipes out of it!