My relationship with and love of food has always been pretty consistent, but my attitude towards it has definitely evolved.
As a teenager I went through very defined phases: Only Cornflakes for about 6 months (my mummy loved that one…… Tori Amos I was so there before you hon), to no fat on anything, and I mean ANYthing (my mummy loved that one even less…), to my uni diet of basically anything served in a glass containing alcohol (mummy didn’t really get to know about that one…), to healthy foods, fast foods, guilty pleasures, pierce the film, remove the lid, microwaved, sofa pizza and so it goes on. That said, I have always been adventurous with food and as my career evolved and I travelled more my palate became more varied; sometimes out of choice and sometimes not (I remember a very bad experience in Kazakhstan with a cup of boiling hot horse fat that I have never repeated but the host loved me for it and we got the deal…..).
However, in the past few years what I have realised is that I had lost my love and enjoyment for food and instead treated it merely as fuel. But not in the way a toned and focussed athlete does, but instead in the way an over worked, chasing-your-tail, never-enough-time-in-the-day, oh-sod-it-i’ll-start-the-diet-tomorrow, normal person does, without realising it. Now, there is nothing wrong with that, other than the fact that it influences what, how and when you eat, in what I believe, is a fundamentally negative way and therefore has a direct impact on your life at so many levels: healthily, socially, financially, ethically, and so it goes on.
I think the revelation came when my gorgeous (smelly, muddy, adorable) puppy (she is no longer a puppy but will always be ‘my’ puppy, smiley face), became very ill with an ‘ear infection’. Yep, who knew such a simple title could cause so much pain, cost so much and send me on a life changing journey – positive amaze-balls really!
Long story short, after having tried pretty much every option possible, I was left with no alternative but to have her ear canal removed and her ear sewn up (something that still seems so extreme to me, but believe me it was the only thing left and quite frankly the best thing I could have done for her and with hindsight I wish I’d done it sooner). On this journey I met the wonderful Jo Cotrell @ http://www.dogtrouble.co.uk who talked to me about looking at what actually goes into dog food and changing my puppy’s diet to a Raw food diet (due to skin allergens that could have been affecting her ears). It didn’t take much research, lets face it, and I vowed then that I wouldn’t give my puppy anything I couldn’t eat myself. It was a revelation and continues to be. Almost instantly I saw a change in my darling dawwwg and 18 months down the line we are still experiencing the benefits.
My commitment to my puppy is, some might say, extreme, but I love her with all of me and she is basically like my child; I would do anything for her ultimately and I take my duty of care very responsibly. However, what I came to realise about three months in to her new diet, is that my focus, time, money and commitment to her diet was in absolutely no way reflected to my own. She was eating like the princess she is and well I, I was just living off whatever I could find in the fridge / be bothered to cook at the very point I was ravenous….. it had to change.
And so, with a general desire to loose weight and be healthier, as well as wanting to know a lot more about the reality of our foods ( a frightening revelation over some pre-packed Chicken breast slices that actually only had 20% chicken in them forced me on this path…I know!), combined with a big birthday looming and a huge desire to grow up and take control of my life (in my head I’m still 23yrs, smiley face) and fundamentally change my life style…. I am here; developing a healthy eating regime and taking ownership of what I put in my body and the legacy my food choices leaves behind, and I have to say its been very liberating.
Given the explosion of healthy eating over the past few years, there is now a wealth of choice and more importantly a wealth of knowledge and information that is now accessible, if you can manage to face the realities. And so as this blog and journey evolves I intend to share some of that information as I unearth it.
Today’s factoid is slightly ridiculous but made me laugh, and well if you weren’t convinced about healthy eating before this (just) might sway you:
“An average persons yearly fast food in-take will contain 12 pubic hairs”.. who knew?!
Ok, so this is a bit crazy to believe (or actually is it?), but I did find it on a website called http://www.forensicsciencetechnician.org so one would think there’s some truth to it? As we go forward, sadly the revelations will be just as shocking and less humorous, but hopefully enlightening and will allow us to make informed decisions.
My current research and personal challenge involves going Vegan and interestingly the thing that I foresee being the biggest ‘miss’ isn’t even meat, but eggs! Given this is coming from a butchers daughter it quite a revelation. I continue to eat less and less meat, and if ever I do it is always organic and locally sourced where possible, however, even this has not really helped my enjoyment of it. Aside from what is pumped into the meat we generally eat now, I am also exposing myself to the animal welfare side of meat production in this day and age – something I have chosen to ignore previously – and well that in itself is quite simply enough to make anyone go gardening and plant some vegetables. Currently, my view is clear that the are massive benefits, on every level, to becoming Vegan, but my decision is not yet made. I am not far from it, but need to be sure I can make the commitment. I am currently removing animal products from my diet slowly and so do not think it will be long before I am totally plant based, but I want to be sure, as part of my new, grown up regime, that it is not just a fad, and that I do not simply become an older version of my former Cornflake Girl.