Yesterday I wrote about transformation…the kind that takes place through the process of parenting. I’ve been through another kind of transformation in the last two years. It started with a desire to have cleaner, healthier eating habits.
Somewhere, probably Facebook, I read about the Whole 30 Challenge. I purchased and read the book It Starts with Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig. I jumped at the chance to weed out the excess sugar, processed foods and really take a hard look at what was going in my body. As a triathlete, I had become keenly aware that if I wanted to perform at my peak level, I needed to eat better. The Whole 30 Challenge (W30) provided the opportunity to get serious about my food choices and to see if what I ate actually did make a difference in my performance. For 30 days, I followed the Hartwigs plan. No sugar or sweeteners, no grains, no dairy and no legumes. All of these foods can be associated with allergic reactions of various kinds such as inflammation and gut issues. I wanted to find out how I would feel if I eliminated these things from my diet. And I wanted to find out if my athletic performance would be affected.
Simply put, I felt great. Better than ever. My energy level increased, my aches and pins decreased. And I was confident that I was onto something good.
The problem with W30 style eating was the enormous amount of meat it included. I’m not much of a meat eater to begin with, but around the same time I reset my habits with the W30, I was also learning more about the negative effects that animal agriculture has on our health and environment. Eating meat became less appealing.
Around the same time, my youngest son came home from college and announced that he was eating plants, plants and only plants. In order to make sure he was eating a diet that included all of the essential nutrients, I set out to learn how to cook plant based meals. I found blogs dedicated to plant based recipe testing, Instagram accounts where I could look at the picture and figure out the food combinations to try myself, and podcasts, (OMG – thank you Rich Roll and Julie Piatt)… if there was a plant powered reference, I was all over it like whipped coconut milk on chocolate chia seed pudding.
I’m loving cooking with fruits and vegetables. I’m experimenting with interesting recipes that are delicious and make me feel good. Probably the biggest part of this transformation is that, now, I actually like to cook! Thanksgiving will be amazing this year with some mouth watering dishes. Recipes and pictures to follow…