May 18, 2013

"Please blog if you aren't already."


Does anyone think it’s funny (or maybe pathetic, or simply false advertising?) that when I announce I’m going to blog more often, I actually blog less? Well, that’s what happened over the last several weeks. For shame.

Well, no more—that is, if I can remember who I am and what I love.

I recently reached out to Liz Wolfe, of CaveGirlEats and the other half of the dynamic duo behind the Balanced Bites podcast. She’s embarking on the adventure of a lifetime: homesteading! I wrote her a heartfelt email wishing her luck and telling her that she is officially living my dream, and that I would be living vicariously through her and rooting for her from afar. She wrote me the most beautiful reply, the takeaway point of which was: I need to be writing. (In fact, the title of this post is a direct quote from her reply.) She could tell from one little email (okay, it was a long email) that I might have some sort of knack for this writing thing. (Or maybe it was a combination of the personal email and some of the comments I’ve left on her blog.) In any event, it was a much-needed reminder of what I love, what I’m good at, and what I want to accomplish. I think it says a lot that a total stranger could recognize good writing when it comes from the heart, and that she recognized said writing with no knowledge that I actually have a formal education in creative writing. (Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and yes, they teach creative writing at my alma mater, even though it’s much more famous for engineering, architecture, and the performing arts than it is for novels and poetry.)

So here goes:  MORE WRITING.


They say “write what you know.” I don’t know who “They” are, but They always seem to come with a capital T, and I suspect They’re the same people who say things like, “Always go with your first instinct,” and “Always wait 30 minutes after eating before you go swimming.” Seems like sensible advice, so I guess I’ll trust them and stick with writing what I know.

Here’s what I know:


·         I love writing.
·         I love food.
·         I love cooking.
(This trifecta right here should have told me something. Or should I call it a hat trick, since I love hockey, too?)
·         I love learning about nutrition and health.
·         I love that some of the most delicious foods (red meat, butter, coconut) are good for us.
·         I love telling people (all people, but especially young women) that you can eat full-fat yogurt, full-fat salad dressings, bacon, burgers (without the bun), eggs, cheese, and all those “naughty foods” they’ve been avoiding their whole lives—and lose weight!
·         I love geeking out on biochemistry, because molecules and bonds and formulas and all that other stuff that scared the bejeezus out of me in high school now show me, on a chemical and cellular level, why some foods are “bad” for us and others are beneficial. And this knowledge preempts the confusion that’s all too easy to be sidelined by every time a health headline comes out that completely contradicts the one from the day before.
Mmmm...real food.
·         I love showing people that achieving a healthy weight does not have to involve advanced mathematics in the grocery store or the dinner table. No need to keep track of grams of this, ounces of that, points, teaspoons, milliliters, inches, karats, horsepower, miles-per-gallon, or any other measurement designed to suck all the pleasure out of food. (And yes, I believe food should be pleasurable. The selecting, the cooking, the serving, and the savoring. Food is fuel, yes, but it’s not only fuel. It’s nourishment for body and spirit.)
·         I love showing people that this just ain’t rocket science. When you understand how the body uses fuel, how the different macronutrients (fat, protein, & carbohydrate) work inside us, and what can go wrong when we deviate from what our bodies expect of food and our environment, correcting many problems becomes nothing more than taking out the problematic things and adding back beneficial things.  

Honest, it's not!

I had to learn a lot of this the hard way. My goal in my nutrition practice and in my writing is to make it so that other people don’t have to. I spend a lot of time thinking about writing, and I’m often overwhelmed by the sheer number of topics that fascinate me when it comes to food and health. That’s probably what holds me up the most: deciding what to write about when there’s so much I want to get to. It also doesn’t help that other people, like Chris Kresser, Robb Wolf, Peter Attia, Diane SanFilippo, Adele Hite, and Chris Masterjohn, all already do a fan-freaking­-tastic job of addressing issues across the board. It’s kind of like, “Really? Another nutrition and health blog? Do I have anything worthwhile to add to this discussion? Anything at all?

And the answer, of course, is yes.

What do I have? What, exactly, is it I might bring to this table? What do I have to add to this cornucopia of awesome information and insight that isn’t already being churned out by seriously heavy hitting experts? Ah. A question I’ve asked myself repeatedly, and one that has probably done more to stop me from writing than anything else. But I’ve realized I do have something to contribute. Namely, ME. My story. My perspective. My take on what really constitutes “healthy eating” and good nutrition. And maybe most of all, my voice. My combining things I love: writing, food, biochemistry, good health, and did I mention writing?

So, assuming I can be a woman of my word and actually keep writing on a more consistent basis, I’ll be sharing more of what I’m up to in the kitchen (apologies in advance for what is sure to be laughably amateurish food photography); more of how I came to study nutrition and why I’m so passionate about de-programming people from the low-fat, obsessive, calorie-counting mindset; I'll dissect and point out the ridiculousness of supposedly "healthy" foods; and address some of the latest nutrition research popping up in newspapers and the evening news. Whew! Sounds like a big enough load for now.

In the meantime, check out some writing I did a while back for someone else’s blog. I wrote a series on insulin and carbohydrates for the End Sugar Addiction website:


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