While poking around for gluten-free recipes today, I discovered the website Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef that offers great recipes and much inspiration.
Overhearing a conversation between two beautiful young women who were expressing hatred over their bodies and discussing extreme deprivation diets, the author, Shauna James Ahern, was inspired to ask this. (and more, it’s a long post and worth every word!):
I just want to ask this.
What if January were the month we all owned the fact that we ate cookies and cinnamon rolls and rich dishes and too much food at parties because we stood at the table nibbling while talking to friends, even though every health magazine told us not to do that? What if January were the month we walked into a room not pulling at our shirts to cover the extra three pounds we gained in December and threw out our arms wide instead, and shouted, “Hey everyone! I’m here. So happy to see you!”
What if January were the time to say, “Wow. I survived another year. And I’m alive. Hell yeah!”
What if January were a fresh start, a chance to quiet the guilt and nastiness to ourselves, and in the silence we had the chance listen to our bodies and hear that they just want more vegetables, please?
What if it was as gentle as this?
(From the post apple-fennel slaw on 1/12/2011. The whole post is absolutely amazing! You should read it.)
I started thinking about the changes I discussed at the beginning of the month, you know, that Whole 30 approach. The changes I wanted were not gentle at all. They would have been as harsh as those girls who wanted to just eat carrots and cottage cheese for a month. It’s just too many changes from how I had been eating in too short a time frame. That, and I simply don’t like enough veggies to make it work at this point (working on it though! one veggie at a time!), among other things. So, listening to my body and thinking about my needs, I decided a week ago to simplify it: gluten-free, minimal dairy (butter is okay in baking/cooking, a little in pasta sauces is okay, too), and no refined sugars.
It’s only been a week, but I feel better already both with the decision and how my body is functioning. This is what works for me here and now. Maybe later on I’ll give the Whole 30 another go. Maybe not. All I know is that things are better than they were before and that’s what matters.
** Shauna James Ahern authored two books, one with her husband, about living gluten-free: The Gluten-Free Girl and The Gluten-Free Girl and The Chef.