PERFECT PROCESS: I LOVE FOOD.
Last week I got an email that essentially said it seems like all I do is buy baby clothes and eat pastries. Ha! I laughed out loud because I do spend a lot of time doing those two things, but they are only a small portion of my time. Out of context that email sounds rude, but it is with a reader who I have become friendly with via email and who also gave me permission to include it in a post!
I did get a good chuckle out of it and it probably seems true- if you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (my favorite social channel) you will see that I am eating a lot of pastries and buying a lot of clothes for Miss Lillian. I have been meaning to write this post for a while and that comment made me feel that the time is right!
Some people love music, travel, food, sports, television, etc. It's safe to say that with every interest there is a spectrum in terms of ones' interest and passion. Many people are surprised to find out that growing up I never really liked food. I know, it seems so odd. "What type of person doesn't like food?!" people would basically shout at me when I would politely decline their offer. While many people automatically assume that if one doesn't like food then they have some type of eating disorder-- which I can guarantee you I do not- I just wasn't really into food.
Growing up I was an athlete through and through. I always thought of what I ate in terms of what would give me the most energy, fuel, and endurance for a two and a half hour volleyball practice or playoff basketball game. For most of my life, my diet pretty much consisted of carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables. And of course, ice cream.
Honestly, I never had an interest in cooking, I would rather pop a piece of toast in the toaster and spend my time reading, playing sports, going for walks, visiting museums. Yes, it's weird for so many people to think about, but I viewed food as something I didn't want to spend time on- both creating and consuming. People are totally shocked because this is so weird and I honestly have never met anyone else that shared this same philosophy. When I would go out to dinner I would usually eat too much bread and olive oil and then not want to order a main course- this pissed so many people off!!! It made it seem like I didn't want to pay for dinner- ha, not the case! What was also perplexing to others was that I have never liked donuts or cake or cupcakes or most of the things that people have to use their will power to avoid. For some reason this upsets a lot of people.
Everyone loves to hear the story of my first date with Jesse in which I ordered bread, a glass of wine, and an ice cream sundae. People find this so comical but it was just what I liked to eat! I'll never forget Jesse being in disbelief as I ordered that- I am so glad he didn't go running!! When we were first dating he loved taking me out on dinner dates and he thought I LOVED hamburgers because that's what I would always order because I didn't feel like eating anything else on the menu.
I'm making it sound like I just ate bread and water. Which isn't entirely true. I always ate, I just never got the same pleasure and joy that others got out of eating. For most families, gathering around a good meal is where the love of food begins. While my family had dinner every night together when we were growing up, our special time was and is when we sit and laugh over a cup of tea, telling stories with music playing in the background.
So fast forward to present day and I absolutely love food. I love trying new restaurants and really love tasting new things, cooking, and exploring. In the past year and a half I have developed an appreciation for food, a palate for what I like, cook dinner every night, try new things, and overall finally see the light about the experience of enjoying food.
SO WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED?A few things:
- Pregnancy taught me to be a mindful eater. Nourishing our growing baby made me think about everything I ate, rather than just going for the same basic foods.
- Breastfeeding taught me what hunger feels like. This is going to really confuse people but growing up I was very rarely hungry. I know, it sounds so crazy to think about. Often times I ate because my blood sugar was low, not because my stomach felt empty. Breastfeeding made my body starving and I loved feeding it great food.
- My closest friends love food and have made their career focusing on it. I am lucky to have really talented friends in the culinary industry. Watching Andie open As Quoted and my friend Nicole of Kindred Table show me how special gathering over food is inspired me to enjoy it more.
- Jesse and I have opposite tastes. I can think of a handful of things that I love that Jesse does not and vice versa. Having opposite tastes is fun when we go out to dinner and I get to try what he ordered.
- Lillian loves to eat! This was the biggest game changer for me. Preparing foods for Lillian has been so fun. Watching her grow into an incredible eater and develop her palate has been fascinating to watch and surprisingly, one of the most special experiences I have had as a new parent and something I never could have anticipated enjoying so much. Honestly, Lillian has made me better in so many ways and I am grateful that she inspired me to love food. Watching her learn to love food has been incredible. I cook dinner for her almost every night and sing and dance as she sits in her high chair. It is one of our favorite activities and the highlight of our nights! I cannot wait to bake and cook together as she gets older!
So, to answer my reader's question about whether or not I eat pastries all day, the answer is actually yes. I have some sort of chocolate croissant, muffin, scone, etc. every day! Along with my new love for food comes the desire to try it all and eat what I love! Since I am still nursing Lillian I don't feel any sort of guilt that women normally have when eating these "bad foods".
I am glad it took me just under 31 years to develop my love for food and it makes me excited to see what other ways I can grow and what other new skills I can develop in my lifetime and as mom.