Foodie February Challenge

Food

I’ve been trying to figure out what I love most to write about and what makes me happiest. One of those things is food and cooking. I’ve struggled with my weight my whole life, I’ve been on every diet there is, I’ve fasted, wrote every morsel down, counted calories, spent “points” and found every way imaginable to buck every diet system out there.

Finally, a few years ago I gave up.

Now that isn’t to say that I just started eating to my heart’s content. At first, I did. Then I gave up looking at the scale. Then I quit going to the gym.

And I gained weight. And my hip and back started to hurt – the extra weight was hurting my joints. And I felt like crap.

So I started back to the gym with my husband and I started looking at how could I still be a foodie and not weigh 1,000 pounds. What I determined was this: I needed to eat healthier and really think about what I was shoving in my face. A true foodie appreciates food in it’s most natural state. They don’t buy pre-packaged foods, and they don’t use all those convenience foods that are so readily available on the market (do you know that crap is mostly salt? Which makes you retain water – and weight.) Instead, foodies visit farmers markets, they buy fresh foods, they smell their food before it’s cooked!

So I started buying fresh foods. I stopped buying those bags of prepared meals – sure they’re convenient (and we still buy frozen pizza and some other items for those in a pinch times), but they aren’t good for you. I started experimenting with all kinds of different foods: brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower – no veggie would be spared. I started using only whole wheat pasta. We started making our own spaghetti sauce with fresh ingredients and no preservatives. We make our own jelly. I want to start canning more things.

What I learned was this: I loved to cook. I love seeing a recipe, doing what it says and, viola!, having a finished product. I could make anything I saw on TV, anything I ate in restaurants, and, eventually, I learned some basic and began experimenting as well. What if I didn’t have mayo on hand? I made my own. What if I didn’t have elbow macaroni? I used spaghetti, or egg noodles – whatever I had on hand. I learned substitutions. And, most of the time, it worked.

The best part was this: we lost weight. And I, personally, felt better.

So: Light bulb moment today. I thought “Why not blog all month about foodie things?” I’ve been doing it here and there, but I don’t really want to be a “food blogger”, but I think this will be fun for a month at least. If you write a blog and want to join me – do it. But please let me know because I want to read it! I only write blogs three times a week and I’ve recently dedicated Fridays to Flash Fiction so these will just be Mondays and Wednesdays throughout February.

February 5th – Childhood Comfort Foods – Write about foods you most remember as a child and can’t live without or have updated for your adult life.

February 10th – Cooking with Alcohol – Write about making foods that contain alcohol (I know you thought this just meant drinking while cooking. NOT!)

February 12th – Sharing the Love – Write about how you share your most favorite recipes.

February 17th – Crockpot Envy – Write about your favorite meals for your crockpot.

February 19th – Redoing Leftovers – Write about the unique new meals you make with your leftovers.

February 24th – Restaurant Review – Get out there and try a new place! Then write about it.

February 26th – Replace This With That – Write about what foods you’ve given up and have replaced with healthy substitutes.

I hope you enjoy this month of foodie blogging. Food, in my opinion, is about sharing love and creating joy: you make something with your own two hands, share it with others and, over a plate of really good food, you find similarities, fun, love and joy. I hope by sharing some of my favorite things about food that I can share some love and joy with all of you this month.

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