You have your first apartment. YAY. Sorry your roommate is a dud. You’ll be better at picking friends when you get older (I hope). You just don’t have much perspective in life yet. Oh! I heard you’re going through a vegetarian phase. I totally get that. Dorm food can do that to you. Just remember that eating just cheese, pizza and hummus is not necessarily the best way to do vegetarianism. The vege in that word comes from the word VEGETABLES, so try to eat a few, K?
Your boyfriend Casey is going to visit you in Oregon soon from the Bay Area. Spoiler Alert: You marry him when you’re 27.
Anyways, you’re going to make your first Thanksgiving away from home. This is all you. No Mom to help you!!!! It’s just the two of you and you have an 8lb. frozen turkey, a bag of potatoes and a box of stuffing. You’ve seen your mom do this several times. You’re ready to impress.
The thing is…your spice cabinet just has black pepper in it. Black pepper, although a wonderful spice, won’t get you very far in your culinary life. Thirty-seven year old Tracy is here to help you, so listen up! I (we/you) have a kid and now food+ photography is my/our career. You’ll be happy to have this information, young me. Trust me/you.
Here are the 10 Essential Spices from McCormick that will dial up flavor and aroma in your dishes:
GroundCinnamon: My most used spice! Did you know that cinnamon is tree bark? Take a closer look at the sticks of cinnamon you normally see in your hot drinks. THAT IS TREE BARK! Cinnamon is a wonderful baking spice or it can be used for savory things like chili. I know you know what cinnamon is. It’s what makes that Mexican mocha you like to drink so spicy! If you’re looking for a healthy snack, try Cinnamon Apples. Remember those cinnamon tortillas you loved at Taco Bell as a kid? I recreated them with Cinnamon Wonton Crisps! Oh and when you get older, Baked Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts will be a thing. That’s right. We have figured out a way to BAKE DOUGHNUTS.
CrushedRed Pepper Flakes: This is the second most used spice in your kitchen repertoire. Maybe you aren’t super into it now but you’ll learn why your dad and your brother cover their pizzas with it. You love it so much, you have it at the dinner table. As an adult, you now put red pepper flakes on EVERYTHING- including Sausage Soup, Quick Tomato Basil Pasta, Zucchini Noodles and PIZZA! You like the spice!
I just jumped right in without notice. Today, Tuesday is day 15 of Whole30. I thought that I would just spend a few days “trying it” out to do some research, but then I just kept eating that way and now we’re here- Day 15. OMFG I’M HALF WAY THROUGH. I have a big family party to go to this weekend that involves a ton of wine and cheese so PRAY FOR ME.
remove these things from your lifestyle for 30 days:
grains (even corn!)
The key to being OK with all of that is focusing on all the things you can have!!! And there are a lot of things….like POTATOES, MEAT, EGGS, FRUIT, VEGETABLES, NUTS, ETC.!!
Why am I doing this?
Because I want to have a better relationship with food. Food and I have been going through some crazy times lately. Bad habits were developed and I’d like to create some new/better habits. I want to feel less tired all the time and I’d like to give my body a rest/reset. I know there are things I eat that aren’t good for me and I am trying to figure out what those things are and what they do. ALSO WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED TO MY METABOLISM (hello, 37). Finally, I just wanted to see if I could do something for THIRTY DAYS STRAIGHT.
Things I am noticing:
Whoa. I’m less puffy. Like, my stomach isn’t bloated. I think I see my jawline again. Hello, jawline. WELCOME BACK.
The first Friday was really hard because I normally like to end the week with a cocktail. I had to figure out something else to do while I had that craving. I watered my plants. I worked on my bullet journal. I did everything I could to resist temptation and I DID IT. Whew.
Hanging out with friends wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Instead of having a drink, I put la croix in a glass with some frozen fruit. It gives me the same mouth burn I like in a cocktail so it felt kinda fancy.
I am taking my time eating.
Whoa. I didn’t realize how much sugar I ate…even for a person who isn’t a sweets person. Sugar is in everything!
I am not hungry all the time, which is weird.
There is less energy put into thinking about food and how I shouldn’t have eaten what I did and BLAH BLAH BLAH. That brain loop is gone. FINALLLLY.
I don’t feel sluggish and sore all the time. Things were crazy for a bit. I felt like my whole body had arthritis the past few months. Well, that stopped.
I have to fight my problem solving brain that wants to find work arounds to the Whole30 diet and cheat the system. It’s definitely not helpful. Also, I learned the term SWYPO- Sex With Your Pants On. It’s basically like eating a ton of Snackwell’s (remember those?!) when you’re on a diet. Just because they’re “diet foods” doesn’t mean you can go hog wild. I am trying to avoid having sex with my pants on…FIGURATIVELY. No dry humping here. I’m married. Geez.
My sleep is really deep. My dreams are pretty vivid. I had a dream that I was drinking a root beer float and it was sooooooo good and then I was like WHAT DID I DO?!! Apparently it’s totally normal.
I’m getting used to almond milk in my coffee and I actually had it black the other morning because the restaurant I went to only had soy milk as a milk alternative. I can’t believe I drank black coffee. I didn’t hate it. BUT I DO MISS SUGAR IN MY COFFEE. Maybe I won’t by the end of this….
I feel empowered by making choices that make me feel better. I make Cooper’s class treats for his birthday and didn’t eat ANY OF IT. Not even a little sprinkle accidentally fell into my mouth.
I’m slowing down my thoughts to understand why my impulse is to go crazy on a bag of chips at the end of the day.
My body is processing food faster. Hi food/Goodbyeeeeeeeee food.
I definitely eat my feelings. Now that I am feeling good, I am more motivated to eat better for my feelings.
Restriction breeds creativity, so I am really enjoying figuring out things I like eating with these limits.
Here are some thoughts I’m working on, because changing the way one eats can bring up soooooo many feelings:
-When food is one of my coping mechanisms, what new habits can I create to take the place of an old/bad habit?
-When I’m feeling anxious and I want something crunchy to eat, I ____
-When I am super hungry and it’s not even meal time, I _____
-When I’m not hungry and I want to eat, what is going on?
-When I slow my brain down, I can make better, healthier choices for myself. I just need to REMIND MYSELF to slow down.
-The times when I really wanted to have a cocktail, what was really going on? How did I want to feel? How did I feel when I said no? How was it hanging out with friends and not drinking?
I’ve been flying solo this weekend because Casey and Cooper had a special father son weekend in Boston for the Red Sox game. We surprised him for his 8th birthday! So yeah, that means my house has been quiet and all of the dishes that have been in the sink are mine. That never happens. In the process of loading the dishwasher, I realized that everything I’ve eaten for the past few days has been out of bowls. I think it’s because there’s a chill in the air and all I want is to huddle around a bowl of goodness and warm up.
Inspiration for your own Bowls of Goodness coming at ya:
The pace of life is so fast now. The way we shoot photos has changed. No more actual film and ACTUAL printed photos. We just have storage to contend with and the daunting/time-consuming task of sorting through alllllllllll the photos to find the ones that stay and the ones that don’t need to be wasting space. I have about 14k photos on my phone (I KNOOOOOW!) and I never do anything with them. Do I routinely delete them? No. I usually wait for a long plane ride to purge the unnecessary images. But then I get distracted by the TV in front of my seat and I forget to delete them. Hence, umm 14k photos on my phone.
I often think about what it will be like for Cooper to look through photos from his childhood. He’ll have to plug in all of our old phones and sort through all of the pictures of food to find things about him/his life/his childhood/his parents. At least it’s headed that way if I don’t print out photos, make albums and DELETE PHOTOS. In my own experience, there are albums my mom made but so many photos are missing because they made their way into school projects and randomTthrowback Thursdays and no one put them back. Systems created and habits abandoned.
Time to change that by being more deliberate and intentional.