Thursday, April 19, 2012

My passion (pretty personal post)

I have passions, don't we all? My passions, that I can share, are related to food and to health. It started when I was young. My mom and sister were always in the kitchen cooking up something new or baking something that made the day smell good, you know that day smell good feeling? They would ask, mostly my mom, if I wanted to learn.

No way! I didn't want to learn. I wanted to marry someone rich so I would never have to cook or clean! I was very young so I suppose my thoughts meant something I just don't know what. As I got older I still avoided the kitchen. My sister moved out, got married and she cooked. I remember her telling me about things she would cook and how she would do it but I still paid no mind. I was in highschool and food was the furthest thing from my mind. My diet consisted of ramen (tons of it!), pickles, carrots, bread smeared with marinara sauce, bacon bits and cheese (tossed in the microwave for 30 sec, I thought it was heaven!), veggies (whatever it was we had for dinners), popcorn, and more ramen. It wasn't the best but I was an active kid. When I "grew up" and moved out of the house and got married myself I made many things for dinner.

They all came out of a box or can! All of it. Even veggies. My favorite, canned greened beans. And I have to admit, if I see a can of green beans I feel the need to eat them. It's an addiction. The same as my addiction to ramen. I don't even shop in "regular" stores anymore as to not walk by that aisle. Costco is difficult at times. I wish they had meetings for people like me. NO ONE is allowed to have ramen in my house because I will hunt them down, steal their food, eat it and well...migraine city! I cannot control it!

With this, I was getting migraines, which I had all my life, more frequently. Sometimes 3 times a week. They would take me down for a day or two making normal life difficult. I finally said something to my doctor about how many I was actually getting (no, he didn't ask when prescribing migraine meds!) and he sent me to a Neurologist. Okay, so this scared me! What were they going to do? Drill a hole in my head? Prescribe more meds I would hate? I had no idea.

When I walked in to his office that day he immediately asked what I ate. What do I eat? What does that matter? He asked if I ate MSG? No, I don't eat MSG, I know that stuff is bad for you. But, I told him about the ramen, canned soups, boxed foods, etc. Uh...that ALL has MSG or it's derivatives. OH! Hmmm...

I know I've posted about this before, you can find my list in a past blog if you too would like to know what MSG is and all the hidden terms food manufactures use to be able to state there is no MSG. The List That Saved Me

So, fast forward a bit. I cut out everything on the above aforementioned list and then slowly added the items that might cause issues. What a difference that made in my world. I maybe get 3 migraines a year now. And, I no longer have the intestinal issues I had (who knew that was related). I had to learn to cook, oh for shame! I didn't marry a rich guy and really after leaving the marriage I had I felt rich in other ways!

I called my mom and sister, frequently, because in my mid twenties I had no idea what I was doing! I learned though and my passion grew. My passion for health. For those afflicted with migraines. I wanted to shout at the top of the builidings...JUST STOP EATING MSG AND YOU WILL BE FINE! But, my passion came off, sometimes, as judgement. I know my thoughts can often sound like that. I think I just want everyone to be healthy. And, to be honest, I want things my way! I'm very much like that and it doesn't stop with telling people how to live their lives so that I KNOW they are healthy. Did I mention I'm a tad controlling too? I guess I've thought it's for a good cause so what's the issue, right? It's not for me to decide. That is all really.

Okay, so I learned to cook. And I loved it. I also love to clean but that's for a separate blog I suppose. I was knee deep into a career I stumbled upon in college. It's not that I didn't love it I just didn't choose it so I was getting antsy, bored. So, after a messy divorce I quit my job. Much to my family's dismay. In their minds I kind of went off the deep end. I suppose, in a way, I did. I started cooking for large groups. They seemed to really love my food. So, I constantly tried to make them love it more. See, there's me being controlling again. I wanted them to want more, to love it, to praise it I suppose.

Instead of finding a new job that would actually pay my bills I enrolled in the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Scottsdale Arizona. What a change. I had never lived away from home, friends, the life I knew. But, I did it. I then started working in kitchens for others, restaurants I wouldn't necessarily eat at just a place for a job. It was not what I expected. I didn't get to be creative like I had been. I ended up losing my passion for cooking. I didn't want to cook at home anymore and I really didn't like working in the kitchen. It was miserable actually. I had no idea! And, it did not pay the bills!

Again, I quit. I started working in a lucrative field which I never knew I would love but absolutely do and it has nothing to do with food! My passion returned and I began cooking at home again. I wanted to open my own restaurant or perhaps write a cookbook. But, how to do either of those, I had no idea.

I still had my passion of spreading the word about not eating processed foods to anyone who would listen.

I got to know a very special friend in my life, my nutrition coach now, and she was vegan. She had been vegetarian for years but she and her husband decided that veganism was the way to go. I thought she was crazy!! I thought she was doing a disservice for her young son. I thought she actually, secretly, missed meat every day but didn't know how to turn back. How could someone go without bacon? I seriously thought she was nuts! In my mind all she could eat was pasta and veggies (only the ones I knew of, which was not many). So carrots and pasta , oh what a healthy diet, right?

She knew how I felt and never pushed. Never judged. Never made me see her side. She just lived her healthy life and would be there to answer any questions I ever had. Last year I started going to her for nutrition coaching. I thought I knew everything there was to know but needed help with what and how to feed my infant who would eventually eat solid foods. I also wanted to learn how to feed my family quickly but nutritiously. I didn't want to rely on boxes and cans but I didn't have a lot of time.

She gave suggestions and was always so kind about how we did eat. I talked about bacon a lot. She didn't judge. How can I become more like her? Because she is truly and inspiration! If you're interested in getting food help of ANY kind please visit Mel Mason's website, 6 month program.

Mel told me about a movie, Forks Over Knives and suggested that I watch it. She said it was life changing. Well, of course (did I mention I'm stubborn too) I sat on this information for some time. After discovering that my infant daughter could not handle dairy which was being passed through my milk I stopped dairy all together. I had to ask Mel a ton of questions on how to go about that. So, I sat down, with my hubby and In-Laws and we watched Forks Over Knives. I knew it had information regarding dairy, I just didn't know to what extent.

We watched the movie, Christmas Eve 2011. I sat, after the movie, and stared at a wall. You bet your butts, it was life changing!

I didn't know what to say. Then the hubby said something I would never expect. He said we should cut out meat! Cut out meat! That means bacon too! We had already, mostly, cut out dairy so why not go the whole way. I was thinking the same way but really had no idea they hubby would be supportive of this.

So, five months later. I'm extremely passionate about food, as I have always been. I want people, all people, to be healthy. I want their illnesses to cease to exist. I want them to have more energy and I want all children in America to eat as to not become obese. But, again, I have become as I have before or sound as if I judge. Again.

I did not make this change in my life to judge others. I made this change in my life to inspire others. I suppose this is my reflection piece. My blog to make me aware that I need to learn to be less judging and more inspiring. I'm passionate, for that I will not apologize. What I will apologize for is the judgement that may have come from this change in my life. I'm still so new to the plant powered lifestyle and I'm learning new things every day. I want to share what I've learned to anyone who may listen.

I will take the time to consider what I say and how I say it as to sound as if I am doing something that everyone should do or else. Really, it is within everyones rights to decide what it is they want to eat, how they want to run their lives. I chose a certain path for myself and my family. It is my job to teach my family my thoughts and beliefs. It is, however, not my job to teach you my thoughts and beliefs.

I will continue to be passionate about food and health and I will continue to share what it is that I learn. But, I will make the promise to only teach and not control. It may be difficult, as it is part of my personality, but I do know it's not my most favorited quality. :D

Please, continue to read. Enjoy and cook! If ever you want to discuss or ask me questions please comment. I would be happy to help in any way possible. I love to give inspiration. I love to teach about those things I've learned.

Cheers and happy eating!

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