I wish I could say “It all started when…” because everyone (myself included) enjoys a good narrative, but that is not how my story begins. 

My relationship with food has always been tumultuous, at best. As a child I was picky beyond all measure and sugar-crazed to boot. Unless offered hot dogs, a box of KD, or tomatoes (yes, tomatoes), I would usually go for candy, cakes, or chocolate instead.

My palate expanded somewhat as I moved into my teenage years, but this happened in tandem with an increased awareness of my body and its flaws. Thus began more than a decade’s worth of self-deprivation and -deprecation, along with unhealthy feelings of guilt whenever “bad” food passed my lips. Fortunately, through a lot of hard work and help, I was able to change my eating habits and focus on getting healthy. Thinking positively about my body is still a struggle sometimes, but that is an issue common to most of the women I speak to. What is important for me now is taking care of my body – nourishing it and staying active and strong, while still enjoying the myriad pleasures that food has to offer.

And that brings us to today…
Over the course of the past few years I have become increasingly knowledgeable about healthy eating habits and have spent exponentially larger amounts of my free time experimenting in the kitchen. I slowly started eating less and less meat a few years ago and realized that I did not handle dairy particularly well. Now I still eat fish, and will admit to indulging VERY occasionally (like, twice a year occasionally) in a piece of organic, free-range chicken or bison – never pork. However, I also suffer from IBS and pretty consistent bloating, and it was only in this past year, thanks to Conor’s insistence and prodding, that I realized much of my gastric distress was due to a gluten intolerance. So while I already loved preparing food for myself and baking treats from scratch, removing gluten from my diet made those habits a bit more of a necessity. I absolutely refuse to resort to buying packaged junk.

My current philosophy is that so long as I follow a balanced diet of freshly prepared foods, full of vegetables and naturally sourced ingredients, I do not need to worry overmuch about eating “too much” or following a “diet” in the traditional sense. Because let’s get this straight now – I love food! Like, a lot. And I still have a sweet tooth, which I now satisfy with delicious, freshly baked gluten free goodies that I make myself.  If I could offer one piece of advice, it would be to STOP counting calories and START counting chemicals!

A few other things…

I just recently became the full-time editor for Collective Evolution, as well as a contributing writer for the site. It’s such a dream come true to find a job that not only makes use of my education – I have an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English, a Masters in Early Modern Literature, and a Bachelor of Secondary Education – but also incorporates my other passions and values! At CE I am free to explore my interest in the environment, wellness, politics, and other topics, and do so in an environment which encourages personal and spiritual growth and freedom. I finally feel like I am doing work means something and that I can feel good about.

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