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 seafood), 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” eats. It took a while, but I now eat almost everything and I like it, too!
Fooding and Fueling is my exploration of new and favorite food. The Fooding half refers to my love of good food – whether it be creamy, goat cheese and bacon filled macaroni and cheese or a huge salad using the mesclun from my garden. Life is much too short to eat bad food, and I’m one of those who looks forward to dinner as they’re eating lunch.
Fueling incorporates all of the slightly healthier options that I ingest to fuel my active lifestyle. There is quite often a race in the calendar, whether it be a triathlon, trail running race, or road race, so I find it necessary to eat properly in order to feel better while training and racing. Garbage in = garbage out!
So there you have it – Fooding and Fueling. A bit of everything, but all in moderation. Happy eating!!