If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been posting a lot of pictures of food. People have asked if I’m taking a cooking class, if I’m on a diet, and even if I’ve decided to go vegan. So I wanted to take a moment and offer up some context for all of those photos.
When I was in the corporate world, the combination of stress, long-term use of NSAIDs for chronic pain management, and terrible eating habits resulted in a stomach ulcer. That, in turn, has led to long-term digestive issues. Those issues, in addition to their own symptoms, contribute to my chronic pain flareups and my sleep issues. The bottom line is that there are things that I just can’t eat any more.
I do all of the cooking and grocery shopping, so it’s easy enough for me to just not buy things that do damage. If it were just me, I could survive on bland food. I don’t think that’s fair to Katie, though. So I’ve been looking at what I’m able to eat, and figuring out how to make things that are interesting and tasty so I don’t feel like I’m depriving her.
It’s been a fun creative challenge, honestly. I feel like I’m learning to cook all over again. There’s some skill involved in finding alternatives. Trying new things is honestly joyful for me. Because I was making this change anyway, I figured it was a good way to start incorporating more vegetables, more raw foods, and a better nutritional balance.
There are three reasons why I’ve been posting pictures of my culinary experiments. The first is to help make it fun. It’s a creative project! Some of the inspiration comes from Katie’s documentation of her art experiments. Cooking has always been one of my outlets, and documenting how things are going is part of the learning process.
The second reason is to keep myself accountable. If I’m taking photos, I’m less likely to backslide. Not in a major way, at least. Something bad for me in moderation is one thing. Part of a meal, or at most a full meal, but not one unhealthy choice after another.
The final reason is that I’m just proud of the results. The dishes aren’t always perfect, nor is the presentation. I still think the food looks pretty damned good, though. It tastes good, too. The pride keeps me motivated. It’s driving me to keep learning and experimenting with flavors, textures, and plating. The net result is that I’m feeling better, so it’s a win all around.