For the past 15 months, I’ve taken charge of my health through lifestyle choices. 80ofoods I used to rely on and love are gone, and it’s been way harder than I pictured. It’s the reason I no longer maniacally post my recipes and thoughts on here; I’ve sadly neglected my beloved and much-asked-about little corner of the internet, partly because I feel that my identity as a food-lover and chef has been slashed to pieces by a gluten-laden machete. No longer can I just go out to dinner anywhere without subjecting a waiter/cook/chef to an inquisition worse than the Spanish experienced back in the sixteenth century, consume the majority of delicious homemade things at gatherings while everyone else gets to oooh and ahhh over it in front of my face, enjoy a night of MSG-laden sushi with my best friend without waking up looking like the blueberry lady from Willy Wonka and then suffering a breakdown the next morning, or eat the best things on this planet: pizza, bread, cookies, and cake.
A zucchini shift has happened in my life: it’s one of my favorite vegetables. I didn’t used to be a fan. I thought it was a weird, spotted cucumber with a little nub on its end. Freaky. But it’s so versatile! It can be sauteed, roasted, broiled, stewed, AND dun dun dun, be eaten completely raw.
From time to time, I do detrimental things completely aware of their unfavorable end result. In the moment right before the action is committed, there’s a shiny glimmer of hope that maybe, this ONE time out of a million, things will not end up the way I think they will. Even though they always do. What the hell, brain? Why am I always surprised at the unhappy ending? And why do I continue to do these things?
2013 ate me alive. This should have come as no surprise, as 13 carries major bad vibesfor me. It began with yay! my dreams continue to come into fruition! my life is sooooooo glamourous! Apparently, I didn’t get the memo that working for yourself is excruciating. Things were MUCH easier when someone was always telling me what to do. In my past life, my 8 hour days consisted of scratching my pen against paper with a check-mark motion weaved in with avalanches of wasted time. Repeat. Forever. On the flip side, it’s not even just a bit dusty, it’s kind of muddy. Why did no one tell me this? I thought the yellow brick road awaited me, with each golden brick seamlessly in place because well, duh, I work for myself.
I’ve recently emerged from a funk with the vigor of swamp thing. It wasn’t a jovial funk, where silky beats coated my eardrums as I bopped my afro-laden head. I definitely wasn’t in fancy cheese world with funky fragrances wafted from me. Well, I pray to God that wasn’t the case. This wasn’t a cool sweep of colors arranged into a beautiful, peculiar pattern. I was living in funky-town, and not the type you want to be taken to.
I used to want everything in the world, lots of it, and all at once.
I longed to watch all of the movies ever made, and binge-watch tv shows endlessly. (Sidenote: am I the only person that gets overwhelmed at the onslaught of Netflix’s selections? Does this choice paralysis make you end up watching…. nothing?) I had lists and lists and Google Docs of all of the books that I MUST read before I die from millions of different people in order to reach prime intellect and have a top-notch vocabulary. All of the restaurants I needed to try and recipes I HAD to make and cakes and pies and cookies and people to see and this to do and experience plus all of the cities and places I needed to travel and cultures I needed to be exposed to because it’s obviously integral for my development as a human and the only way that one can live a full life. When I accomplished all I needed to, I could sit on my death bed knowing I did and experienced and read and ate and painted and went to everything I wanted to in the world. All at the same time. Check, check. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
There is this fish market near my house where the people are warm and real, and the fish is out of this world. It doesn’t leave me wanting much else from a food establishment. Being that the fish is far above par, it has resulted in a bit of a food shopping conundrum. I can’t go anywhere else. Ever. I go to Whole Foods and walk by the fish and I’m just like “nope.” The quality is through the roof at my little market. The flavor of the fish is as genuine as the people selling it to me.
I must preface this post by explaining my SIX MONTH (!) absence. It’s not like I’ve been at home twiddling my thumbs in bed, watching reruns of Cheaters, eating cake pops, and sporting a permanent dark chocolate mustache. Although that would be pretty awesome. I’m going to use the most cliched of excuses and tell you that I’ve been busy. Extraordinarily busy. In a good way. Working, absorbing, and being a lot of tired. Lots of not knowing what the hell I am doing and in turn, experiencing the power of belief.
Our lives are currently characterized by sheer abundance. Of food. Cars. Money. People. Lovers. Friends. Restaurants. Malls. Music. Socks. Hangers. Books. Dutch ovens. Spatulas. Deodorants. Planners. Pillows. Rings.Choice.
If you pause for a sec and contemplate this, our minds are confronted daily with millions of options.
Studies have found that when our crazy complicated human brain is presented with more than seven miniscule choices, (which nowadays is nada…have you taken a look at Cheesecake Factory’s novel-like menu lately? How am I supposed to choose anything there within its ocean of options without going through a state of utter mind blindness and menu-choosing anxiety?) it basically goes…