Oui allo food-fans and dear blog readers,
It's that time again... January 1st has hit and we're all full of good intentions, resolve, and energetic inspiration for the new year. A quick glance at my social media shows that you fall into two camps - those who think resolutions are a bag of hot sweaty bologna and are just going to keep living their life without conforming to your optimistic standards MAN - or - those of you who are full of vigor, bright-eyed wholistic ambition for a year full of exercise themed instagram photos, a recently discovered love of sprouted lentils, and quote-pictures one could expect to find on a Lululemon bag which carries your newly purchased 120$ jogging pants.
If you can't tell where I fall on that spectrum, it's no surprise. Neither can I.
My life is pretty, pretty decent, but like anyone there are somethings I'd like to change. However, the past two years have been pretty rough, and I've been feeling exhausted and utterly lacking in anything resembling willpower. Despite finally getting into a healthy and regular exercise routine (thanks kickboxing pals!) - I still have the energy and ambition of a sweet, sleepy eyed sloth. I could have merrily done nothing over the holidays but sleep 12 hours a night and then wake up and putz about in my plaid onesie until it was time to sleep for another 12 hours. Glory glory hallelujah.
While I hate to use the word resolution, my two main 'resolves' for New Years are to start being nicer to myself ('Oh you're tired and want to sleep 12 hours a day? It's not because you're a dumb waste of life, maybe it's because you've had a terribly stressful two years full of real grown-up problems, and you're actually seriously tired and maybe should just sleep for 12 hours a day'), and to also learn how to say no to things.
Being new to a place, and being full of ambition and (former) joie de vivre means that I've said yes to almost everything I've been asked to do. Come on TV at 6 in the morning after a 14 hour work day and 5 hour board meeting? SURE! Sit on another Board and help coordinate a 30K gala, which really means you'll end up doing all of it because you can't stand to be associated with something shoddy? HECK YES. Keep up your part-time job, full-time job, governance commitments, and try and plan your own wedding from 3000 km away? ABSOLUTELY. It may seem obvious but trying to juggle a couple different lives, and then trying to write a book, a cookbook, campaign, work, volunteer, and stay healthy and social is a recipe for failure, and then for beating yourself up for being a total failure. I want to start saying NO to things (or 'No thank you' at least), so that I can free myself up to focus on the things that I want to be doing. Because saying yes to everything, means that you don't do the things that you need to do for yourself, which means you then beat yourself up for not doing the things you want to be doing, which means you feel like poo.
My last year hasn't been super healthy either. I've been too tired, too caffeinated, drinking too much ('One glass of wine after a tough day? Better make it three!'), and not as focused on the things that make me happy (like this little blog).
I've also been frustrated by my body as apparently, eating the same way you always have - even if it's relatively healthily - doesn't mean you'll stay Taylor Swift sized throughout your late 20s. WHO KNEW. Now that I'm on the old fitness routine, it's time to start looking at my diet. I'm not interested in depriving myself of everything, or counting all my calories, or eating kale 3 times a day, because let's be honest: kale tastes like dirt.
What I am interested in doing is cutting back on my carbohydrate intake. I don't LIVE on bread, but we all know it is a handy vehicle for cheese, peanut butter, and a variety of other deliciousness.
I am a firm believer in fat being healthy (or at least healthy fats being healthy), and the more I read on high-fat/low-carb the more sense it makes. I don't have a sweet tooth, and I'm more of a savoury gal anyway, but nonetheless this will be an interesting experiment. I went full keto for a few weeks last year, and while it wasn't totally sustainable for me, the thing I noticed - besides dropping 10 pounds in two weeks - was the withdrawl I felt once I went off the carbs. I always make myself go a full month without caffeine once a year, and the withdrawal I feel with that (headaches, crankiness, no energy, disrupted sleep, cravings, etc) was nothing compared to the carb withdrawal. I felt actually ill. It's been in the back of my mind since then. Feeling withdrawal and dependency on a food is probably not a good thing. While I would cry if I couldn't eat peanut butter again, and I'd certainly want to eat it, I don't think my body would go into full on constant craving mode if I didn't have it again.
So with my new years resolve, and blog-spiration, I am attempting to embark on a 'cleaner' January. This doesn't mean I'm going to be living on sprouted mung beans, raw everything, and sparing fistfuls of nuts and homemade granola. That might work for some people, but not for me. I am going to be trying to cut out carbohydrates, and while I don't eat much sugar anyway, really watching that. I'm always awful at making myself drink water, so as always, imma try and do more of that.
I'm a big believer in the Michael Pollan philosophy 'Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants'. Chuck in some fish and the odd steak for bursts of protein, and we're looking at for my version of clean, for this January. Stay tuned and play along if you feel like it.
Tips, suggestions, threats, and words of encouragement are welcome!