I love food. I’ve always loved food. I’ve always tried to find my relationship with food. My parents raised us on home cooked, healthy and fresh meals so their heathy lifestyle has always been ingrained in my mind. I stopped eating fast food in High School. My Environmental Science degree inspired my increased sustainability awareness and I became vegan for a year and a half during college. It wasn’t until the lamb of New Zealand allowed me to immerse myself in Kiwi culture during my study abroad adventure that I jumped ship. Fast forward to last year when I sought a more holistic, diet-centered treatment after my UC diagnosis. In order for me to maintain my sanity during this past year I’ve learned to not only discover and create old favorites in the kitchen but I’ve taught my body to learn to love healthy, real, simple food.
When you read a list of everything you can’t consume your mind immediately puts up a huge barrier between you and happiness. You immediately go into this sort of defense mode – this feel sorry for myself mode. How long is it maintainable? How long can I beat off the feeling of deprivation? Fortunately for myself, by ignoring those thoughts I used it as an opportunity to challenge myself. I sure do love a challenge.
I think the reason I was able to commit so wholeheartedly without wavering was simply because I had experienced something so severe. I was SO sick. I saw the ugly side of living to eat rather than eating to live. To me the option was either accept lifelong handcuffs or don’t. Accept no control over your life, unwarranted side effects from harsh medications and uncertainty OR commit like nothing else to hope. Commit to the hope that my health meant freedom. Commit to living fully – fully free, fully healthy. Without health you have nothing. Without health you suffer. Maybe not as severely as I did but you slowly accept fewer and fewer possibilities. You slowly begin to lower your expectations for life. You slowly begin to stop living fully. I could not accept that. I will not accept that. I have too much to live for to live everyday with the fear a flare up will keep me from not only functioning normally but from living my life how I want to live it.
So with all of that out of the way, what do I actually eat?
Coconuts are my best friend. Turmeric/ginger tea is an everyday ritual. Broth/Soup have become the most soothing, comforting and healing aspect of my diet. Vegetables and healthy fats show up in every meal. Sprouted nuts/seeds mold themselves into my most delectable treats. Honey is my savior and fruit keeps me happy. That’s what I eat and I seriously enjoy all of it. If a year and a half ago someone told me I’d look forward to a hot, brothy soup for breakfast I would have laughed in their face. Fuck soup. I want substance. Give me some damn sough-dough bread to dunk in my soup at least… Welp if I can change this much in a year surely anyone can. And no I don’t eat soup for all of my breakfasts – only occasionally.
PASTURED RAISED Eggs. Unprocessed, GRASS FED meat. WILD fish. ORGANIC Veggies. ORGANIC Fruit. RAW (UNPASTEURIZED) Nuts. RAW Seeds. Old/young Coconuts.
You’d be wildly surprised by how those few items above can transform into really delicious granola bars, pizza crusts, pasta, ice cream, cookies, cake etc. Now, the one thing I have learned more recently has been to not simply try to recreate every cookie and pizza crust into a SCD legal/GAPS version but rather to reteach my body to not need a bunch of flour-based foods. Learn to love soup. Without the chunk of bread. That is the groundwork.
I will post as many of my favorite recipes as I can! Please give me feedback. Let me know if you’re looking for a healthy version of something I haven’t posted. Have fun cooking!