I was about to start this About section by saying that “Food has always been a passion of mine”, but first of all, that’s a bit cliché, and second of all, it’s not entirely true. I was a seriously finicky eater all throughout my childhood, and I was of the mindset that most vegetables and all seafood (except perhaps canned tuna and fish sticks) should be banned. Looking back, I feel sorry for my mother who tried her best to expand my palate, but to no avail. My favorite food when I was six was a bologna (which my parents referred to as “Barbie beef”) and grape jelly sandwich. I can hear you cringing right now, and rightly so.
The turning point (there’s always a turning point, right?) was my first stint as a farmhand on a small organic vegetable farm in Vermont. I had started the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college as a waitress in a busy restaurant and was making fairly good money. However, after seeing an advertisement in a local newspaper for a farmhand, I entertained the notion of spending my summer outdoors in the hot sun instead of sweating it out in a steamy restaurant. Needless to say, I chose the former option and spent the next three months working twelve hours a day, six days a week, and loving every minute of it. By the end of the summer, I had dirt crammed under my fingernails so far that it took weeks to remove, every inch of my body had been reached by the multitudes of biting insects that thrive in the Vermont humidity, and it seemed that all of my old clothing and shoes had a healthy layer of topsoil on it (I probably could have planted some seeds in my old running shoes and they would have grown). Nonetheless, I was insanely happy and even though I had spent most of my summer bent over squash/kale/chard plants (none of which I would have eaten before), I now took every opportunity to incorporate as many vegetables into my meals as possible. Taking part in every aspect of growing these plants had tweaked my interest, and as the summer went on, I gradually ate more and more of the vegetables with which I worked on a daily basis.
Obviously, this did not help me on the seafood end (Vermont isn’t exactly known for its abundance of sea life), but after realizing how much more food was available to me when I wasn’t so picky, I became curious and started nosing my way into the fishy side. It took a while, but I now eat almost everything and I like it, too! But while I love exploring different foods and indulging in delectable eats, I realize that it’s important to keep everything in moderation. A race of some sort is often in my calendar (anything from century bike rides to triathlons), so fueling myself with whole, unprocessed food is vital. Garbage in = garbage out! So while I can house an entire bag of Haribo gummy bears in one sitting, I try to limit my consumption of processed food and balance it out with some big ass salads and kale slaws.
Beets (as those that know me are well aware) are by far my favorite vegetable, and you can often find me on a bike, whether it be commuting around Boston or trying desperately to keep up with a group of fast guys on my road bike. This blog has everything from easy chocolate cake to raw chia fig bars, and personifies my idea that the ideal ratio of healthy food to treats should be 80/20. Enjoy and Guten Appetit!!