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My outrageous commitment

Posted by Tara in Food & Health, Personal

Shortly before the turn of the new year, Sona put an excellent post on her blog about making outrageous commitments. You can read the post for the full explanation, but the high points are that an outrageous commitment:

  1. Isn’t bound to any time frame.
  2. Comes from deep within.
  3. Is surprising, even to those who know you best.
  4. Is a commitment you only make for yourself.

And while I applauded the idea and Sona’s own outrageous commitment to become a yoga instructor, I didn’t feel like it was something for me.

You can make an outrageous commitment when you least expect it

Those of you who are keeping up with this blog already know that I’ve been working with a fantastic nutritionist since last July. Working with Leanne has been instrumental in helping me change my relationship with food so that I can be passionate about creating delicious, yet healthful, meals.

What I didn’t anticipate was how much a single cookbook would also change my views of food. After receiving a Chapters giftcard for Christmas, I picked up Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook. Apart from providing 500 phenomenal, yet simple recipes made with whole food, it also opened my eyes to some of the problems associated with eating a largely meat-based diet (and if you’ve read Sona’s review of Food, Inc., you’ll know this is on the minds of a lot of people these days). I didn’t know that it costs two calories of energy to produce one calorie of plant-based food, versus forty calories of energy to produce one calorie of meat-based food. I also didn’t know that the majority of grain raised in the US goes toward feeding the meat that we consume at our dinner table every day, and that if we took some of that meat off the table we could help eradicate some of the world’s hunger issues just by giving that grain to people.

That said, I know that I need to eat some meat to feel healthy, so my outrageous commitment is this: I am going to consume meat in much smaller quantities, using it as a garnish as Mark Bittman suggests, and trying to only have it once a day. Also, not only am I reducing the amount of meat I’m cooking with, but I also want to ensure that the meat I’m eating is both raised and killed ethically. To that end, I’m going stop buying factory farmed meat and buy it from a local butcher.

I understand that this may not seem outrageous to some people, but for me it’s huge. I’ve always been a big-time meat-eater, and this represents a major shift in the way I will be purchasing, cooking and consuming food going forward. It won’t happen overnight and I don’t think it will be easy, but do I think it will be rewarding, since I know it will help me to improve my health and will be more sustainable for the environment.

And why am I putting it out here? I want to be accountable. So go ahead and ask me how I’m doing from time to time. I hope I surprise both of us.

Get thee to a nutritionist

Posted by Tara in Food & Health

This post is a departure from what’s usually on this blog, but it’s about a big part of my recent life, so I think it’s important to share.

This summer Neil and I spent a couple of wonderful weeks in the UK. He ate a lot of haggis, I ate a lot of fish and chips, and we both ate a lot of sticky toffee pudding. By the time we got home we were both tired and I wanted to change the way I ate. Even before we went away I got very lazy with my cooking and was making a lot of convenience meals like ichiban, and telling myself that I deserved to regularly have Kit-Kat bars. I knew that while it’s possible to live that way, it’s not possible feel good while doing it.

Lucky for me, one of my coworkers is also a holistic nutritionist, and a fantastic one at that! I approached her about changing the way I ate and she showed me that baby steps are the way to go. Now instead of ichiban I’m having soba noodles and instead of Kit-Kats bars I’m having Coconut Bliss ice cream or raw chocolate nibs with coconut butter and organic granola. And don’t even get me started on how I ditched butter for coconut oil!

Leanne has helped me tackle some of the unhealthy attitudes I’ve had towards eating in addition to helped me see how happy healthful cooking can make me. I’m even looking at new recipes all the time and am seeing ways that I can fine tune them to make them healthier. I’m so happy with how Leanne’s been able to help me that I asked her to write a little something to introduce herself to you guys:

Hi, my name is Leanne. I’m a Holistic Nutritionist, yogi, athlete, and avid recipe creator. I offer one-on-one nutrition support to individuals in Calgary and Airdrie for weight loss, healthy eating, diabetes, children, busy moms, athletes, and much much more.

Having struggled with health issues at a young age, my journey to wellness has been an ever-evolving process. Numerous trips to the hospital and unexplainable symptoms lead me to begin researching ways to improve my health. This eventually led me to alternative approaches to wellness.

After experiencing the benefits of a holistic way of living I embarked on my career as a Holistic Nutritionist so that I could educate others on the importance of balanced living. I am extremely passionate about our connection to food and strive to create awareness within my clients to lead them towards permanently strengthening their immunity and overall well being.

If you’ve been thinking about changing the way you eat or want to eat more healthfully and consciously, contact Leanne today. You won’t be sorry.

P.S. While you’re over at Leanne’s site, check out the chocolate hemp pudding recipe I made.

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