A Food Obsession

I've found a new obsession. That may be somewhat apparent by the lack of blogging that I've been doing lately.  I've never been much of a multi-tasker (I am working on it).  That said, my latest obsession is food.

DSC_0008It all started a couple of months ago when I got a new cell phone.  It's a windows 8 phone (I know, I was skeptical too but I absolutely love it) and the first thing I did after getting it, aside from figuring out how to use the thing, was downloading apps.  Sort of by accident I found a calorie counter app called myfitnesspal and decided to give it a try.  I've been interested in food and getting healthy for a while now, but, aside from a plan of eat more vegetables, never really knew what I was doing.  I started logging my food mostly out of curiosity to see how well I was doing.

Well that one little free app made me realize just how often I get "too busy" for food and end up with hamburger helper and pizza.  I realized that I was often eating double the portion size that I should have been and that my lazy eating was affecting my waistline and how I felt about myself.

At first I ate the same foods as always, just less of them.  From a weight loss standpoint, that worked.  I lost about five pounds in the first two weeks.  But that was hard to maintain.  My daily calorie goal (which is relatively high compared to many other app users) seemed impossibly small.  It wasn't until I spent a lazy day on the couch watching food movies and documentaries on netflix that something clicked.  I realized exactly why my getting healthy plan wasn't working quite like I wanted.

As of today I am approximately 20 pounds and 2 jean sizes down.  I feel great, am full of energy and my calorie goals are easy to meet.  So what miracle secret did I tap into on the couch that day?

The answer is cooking. DSC_0002In the past few months I've spent more time and money at the grocery stores and farmers markets than ever before.  I'm buying eggplants and beets and kale--things I've never bought before.  I'm spending hours in the kitchen watching cooking shows, reading food blogs, and eating fresher, better-tasting, and healthier food than I ever have before.

I'm lucky enough that I enjoy cooking.  If I didn't this would be an impossible change.  There is just something so great about picking out ingredients, prepping them, and putting them together into something handmade, beautiful and unique.  I get a huge sense of accomplishment from each loaf of bread or ricotta that I make and share.  Putting work into my food makes me savor each flavor and appreciate my food instead of sitting on the couch eating chips and hardly paying attention.

DSC_0013I should probably mention that my diet solution doesn't consist of flavorless diet foods.  I'm eating full fat milk, cheese, and sour cream.  I'll even have some ice cream sometimes.  But I'm have smaller portions and everything I buy is good quality. I'm buying more organic foods, tons of farmers market vegetables, and becoming aware of every ingredient in every meal that I prepare.  My bank account is taking a toll with the new grocery bills (maybe my next obsession should be couponing to support this habit) but I'm eating great food, losing weight, and having so much fun doing it.  That right there is definitely worth the price tag.