Anytime I bring food to a party or dinner, it comes with a warning. If someone is getting too close to it with hunger in their eyes, you are sure to hear ” It’s paleo” or “Callie made it”. It is then labeled healthy, diet and/or weird. I don’t blame anyone for doing this. Everyone wants to know what they are eating prior to consumption. Even now, I find myself issuing the disclaimer.
For Ainsley’s first birthday, I made her a grain free cake, free of refined sugars. I sweetened it with some local honey. The frosting was a buttercream made with real butter and cream, also sweetened with honey. But to really get ’em talking I colored it pink using beet juice (which is flavorless, by the way). WEIRD.
I know it is unusual. But I don’t do these things just for the fun of it. So why do I do all of this? Why is eating a certain way such a big deal to me?
After a year or so of dating, Hunter and I both found ourselves overweight and sick all of the time. We ate out A LOT, drank cokes with every meal, never passed on dessert. We were blazing our own paths to diabetes and we didn’t even realize it.
I always hear everything is okay in moderation. This is true. But what is moderation? If we decide to have the cake and ice cream at every party we go to and on every holiday, that is probably 2-3 times a month. For some people that may work. But for us that version of moderation is too much. We start sliding back down the slippery slope and quickly find ourselves wanting more. It is addictive. And we are recovering addicts.
Food is powerful. It can be comforting. It can be your way of showing love. It can be linked to fond memories of your past. But it can also control you. So many people stress over food. Is this bite going to make me sick? How long will I have to exercise to burn the calories? I have been there. That kind of relationship with food did not work for me.
So two years ago I changed it. Hunter joined me. We have lost 75 pounds together and we are so much healthier.
Both of us have diabetes and heart disease in our families. These diseases can be managed and prevented to a degree with diet and exercise. So if the food we eat can potentially save our lives or prevent illness then of course I am going to try. This is what works for us. We are healthy. We are happy. And a couple of times a year we eat “normal” food.
Everyone has to decide what honestly works for their family. What is going to make you happy and healthy? A lot of people think they are healthy because they aren’t as bad off as others. But we have to each strive to be as healthy as we can be. We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones.
I want my little girl to be happy and healthy.
I want my husband to be happy and healthy.
I want to be happy and healthy.
(and we are)
That is why we eat weird (real) food.