Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Healthy Art

Healthy eating doesn't have to revolve around specialty diets, calorie counting and earning points. Those are all good and I couldn't have changed my culinary lifestyle had it not been for all those years of learning, acknowledging, and discovering the nutritional (non-nutritional) value of the foods I consumed. I spent most of my adult life yo-yo dieting, not understanding where I kept failing. I tried so hard to apply a healthy menu to a unhealthy mindset and the two just didn't get along. When my resolve broke down, my patience wore out, and my taste buds revolted, like an addict (because I had yet to change my mindset) I reverted back to what was comfortable, what was familiar, and alas - what was detrimental to my health and fitness. Feeling like a failure is our biggest adversary in the battle for our health. I developed a love/hate relationship with food.

I am still on my journey and will never fully achieve my ultimate health goal, because I understand now that this battle isn't a temporary fight, but a livelong adventure. I had to switch gears and begin to look at the whole picture with new eyes, new understanding, and a new perspective. I stopped setting goals for myself and threw out all my diet plans and started from scratch. I took an inventory and made a list of what were 'healthy' foods and what were 'trigger foods' that led to my temptation to over-indulge, binge, or consume to feed my emotions. I did not make a list of “good” or “bad” foods, because I'm beginning to understand there really aren't good or bad foods, just good or bad preparations and portions of the foods we eat.

I stopped seeing food as the enemy. “I” was the enemy. How I ate, prepared, and used food led to my unhealthy eating practices. So, I made an honest assessment of how I used and reacted to food, and those were the things I changed. Then I started dating food, looking at it with new eyes, seeing it's possibilities, understanding it's function, and then allowing my creativity to take over, thinking of ways how I can turn it into something beautiful, artistic, and fun . I experiment with color, texture, and flavor. Other than a few dietary allergies, there's now NOTHING I can't have or can't use to make a good meal. 

I don't diet – I create healthy art, and I love every delicious morsel.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

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