I love food. I didn’t think I could love it even more. That was until the end of 2011 when I decided to change my diet forever.
For years I had been trying to loose weight the conventional way. Counting calories and becoming addicted to the gym. According to all established wisdom, I was doing everything right. Except when I stepped on the scale nothing moved. I was so discouraged. I didn’t know what to do. Then I came across a website called Mark’s Daily Apple. I read about how people were changing their lifestyle with the health being the main goal by following the Primal Diet. Something clicked and my life will never be the same.
[I know, this sounds super dramatic, but when you hear about how my life has changed you'll understand where I'm coming from. Also, I am in no way trying to convert you to eat the way I do now, but rather to just share how it changed my relationship with food.]
The basic principle of the Primal Diet on Mark’s Daily Apple is to eliminate grains and sugars. There are a myriad of reasons why to do this (and much more to the plan), which, if you are interested, you can read about on the site. When I decided to change and follow this way of life, I at first freaked out. Pretty much every meal I’ve eaten in my life consisted of grains and sugars. What was I going to eat?!!?! Goodbye chocolate chip cookies! Goodbye tortillas! Goodbye sandwiches!
It wasn’t going to be easy.
After the initial freakout happened, I realized there was a whole world of food out there to which I wasn’t even paying attention.
My go to snack is now walnuts. Walnuts?!!? Past Marissa is astounded, but present Marissa can’t believe how sweet they are. I start every morning frying an egg in coconut oil. Why didn’t I do this before? It makes fried eggs taste even better. Speaking of eggs, I now try to make the most incredible omelets ever. Last night I used lamb sausage, tomatoes, onions, garlic and kale for quite the winner. Meat has become increasingly important. And bacon – oh bacon – there’s so much you can do with bacon.
Over the holidays I took on the challenge of cooking both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. It was like cooking my own Top Chef Elimination Challenge. I was so excited. Not only to cook all day, but to also try new things. I was, however, worried as to how it would be received. Needless to say, my family said that it was some of the best food of the year. (I’ll totally take the credit because it was super good, but always remember – butter always helps!)
Since changing my diet, I have learned new cooking techniques. I have brined and grilled my own turkey. I have tied and cooked my own beef tenderloin. I have braised brussel sprouts. I have whipped my own whipped cream and made my own custard. I made a pumpkin pie (yes, without flour and sugar). I have stuffed peppers. And this is all in the span of a little over three months.
Yes, there have been some health benefits, such as lower cholestrol and the scale moving the right direction again, but making the decision to change my diet has reinvegorated my passion for cooking and discovering new foods and techniques. And for that, I think it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Here’s to more good food and fun in 2012!
With the new year still young, have any of you made any changes to your diet? If so, how has it changed your view of food?
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