I’ve spent weeks trying to decide how to begin this post after a near-year hiatus. So much has happened. I could spend all this time apologizing for being gone and send myself down a never-ending guilt trip, but let’s be real. That wouldn’t really do any good for either of us. Long story short, I’m very excited to be back here and to share with you the happenings of the year.

It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been so.incredibly.good.

This year I stumbled across a couple of Michael Pollan’s books, which if you haven’t heard the name, Michael Pollan is an author, journalist, and professor who has written numerous books and articles about food, nature, industrialization, and the relationship that all has with human beings. In this day and age of fad diets, he set off to find what the perfect diet is for humans and what we “should” be eating.

It definitely gave me a lot to think about. Human beings really like to follow extremes. We like to know what is in the good category and what gets thrown over the fence. All too often we take our diet to the extreme. We eat the products that corporations market to us as “food” without the bat of an eye or a question as to their claims. We eagerly await the latest study that tells you what food will give you cancer or alternatively will just keep you alive forever (because that’s completely believable right?). If you look back at history, you’ll see how we’ve cycled through our fair share of trendy diets. First it was low-fat. Fat was going to kill you, and if you didn’t eat low-fat, well, you knew what was going to happen to you. Then it was the Atkins diet. No longer were people afraid of fat as long as you had a healthy dose of animal protein on your plate. The demon label was transferred over to carbohydrates. As long as you avoided carbs, you’d be fit as a fiddle. Alternatively, the vegetarian gang condemned all meat and consumed a majority of carbs, albeit some high ratios of highly refined carbs. And the cycle continues.

Now, I have to throw the disclaimer in here that there are so many different diets that do truly have various therapeutic purposes that can be extremely healing in certain situations. Every single body on the face of the Earth is different and needs different nutrients to find balance and healing. With this being said, it isn’t fair to put a “good” or “bad” label on food. Food is food. It doesn’t have a motive. It doesn’t set out to make your jeans tight or make you feel better. It’s so crucial when talking about our relationship with food that we really understand this.

And when I say food, I mean fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish and meat, etc. I don’t mean “food-like substances” that have an ingredient list a mile long. Michael Pollan sums it up as this: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

That’s it.         

No seriously.

I could go on forever, but really I would just recommend that you read it for yourself. I will say that it’s refreshing and freeing when you look at food as just food instead of something with an agenda either there to help or hurt you. Now, I will say that there are still foods I still won’t eat because my body doesn’t process them well, and they aren’t healing for me. But by no means will I look down at someone who can eat them. There’s just no need for that.

This was a huge, yet painfully obvious revelation for me this year. I took a lot of time this year to explore food and see what foods I could tolerate leaving the labels of “good” and “bad” behind. I spent days, weeks, and months on bonappetit’s website exploring different recipes and techniques to bring out the best in food and make meals exciting again. I wanted to gain more insight on how to create recipes that I could share with you in an original but accessible way. And after nearly a year, I think it’s time.  

Another huge event in my life this year is I’ve started yoga teacher training. I graduate this December, and I’m so incredibly excited! This training has been life changing, and I can’t believe it’s already halfway over. It’s been such a blessing to find my place in this tribe. I’m right where I’m supposed to be. 

So there you have it! And because I don’t want to leave you empty-handed, here’s a quick recipe for a smoothie. Because I now have a VitaMix. And I’m obsessed with it.

Banana Mango Kale Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

½ cup full-fat coconut milk
½ cup water
2 tablespoon collagen (I use Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon coconut butter
pinch pink Himalayan sea salt
1 big handful of kale
1 banana
¼ – ½ cup frozen mango
handful ice cubes

DIRECTIONS

Throw everything into a high-speed blender as listed, and blend.
Pour into a mason jar if you’re cool and have 20 in your pantry, and enjoy

 

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