I am so excited (and a little nervous) to share my first Life Lately/Let’s Catch Up post with you!
These are my favourite types of posts to read from the bloggers and online influencers that I follow. The recipes and all things food posts are great and wonderful and I love them too but I reaaaally love reading about all the details of the lives of the random people I follow on the internet. (And yes, the photos in this post have nothing to do with the actual post itself… and I’m OK with that!)
So let’s pretend we’re old friends grabbing a cup of coffee… or even better, grabbing dinner at a great restaurant (you know, because of the whole loving food thing), and let’s have a really great conversation about what’s been going on lately…
For starters, I’m pumped to say it but it’s officially spring in my world!
I write this post as I stare out the window (as I often find myself doing when there’s a lot on my mind… more on that in just a sec) to see grass on the ground (it’s still kind of brown and not looking so good but it’s grass and not a solid blanket of snow covering the ground). I have the window cracked just a teeniest amount to let in all that great, fresh, spring air but not too much because it’s still kind of cold outside and our furnace is definitely still on.
But grass, fresh air, birds chirping! Yep, it’s officially spring.
Part of me is really, really excited (hello, sunshine and goodbye winter coats, mittens, scarves, boots and that whole ordeal). And another part of me is really, really sad (hello, how is it May already?!).
And if we are talking about how fast time flies, it’s been a hot minute (do people still say that?) since I’ve posted anything new here. Yep, things have been VERY quiet around the Always Nourished kitchen these days and a little (OK, very!) slow to get going again.
I’ll just say it – the elephant in the room (at least to me) these days is that I haven’t been a great blogger lately… I haven’t really been a blogger at all lately.
I’m mostly blaming it on my very… busy? Distracted? Maybe, procrastinating?… mind of mine as of late. There are so many recipes in the last little while that I’ve created and LOVED and that I meant to share with you last summer but then summertime turned into September and September quickly became the end of October. And before I knew it, October became December and soon enough the first quarter of 2019 was already over. What was supposed to be the latest and greatest recipe and new blog post of the second week of September, I’m still thinking about and just getting around to it now.
Now, I don’t bring up this break in regularly scheduled content to be dramatic or even to take pride in my lack of commitment or anything like that; maybe you didn’t even notice I was gone. I bring it up because it’s the truth and I feel I finally need to come clean in a way (and because I have two really good points in all this, I promise).
But let’s unpack some of that for sec…
To be very honest, I haven’t paid much attention to this online space in 24 months (that’s like 2 years!) or something crazy like that – there were 3 weeks where I thought I was ready to come back and kind of dipped my toe back in the water and decided against taking the full plunge all for different reasons. But I know it’s been a real long while! Don’t get me wrong, so much has happened in this 2-year pause.
In all realness, life happened in the last 2 years. There were so many other things that had to take priority over blog posts, my Instagram feed, my email list, my Facebook page, my Pinterest account and such (if you’re also a blogger you know the to-do list is endless!).
Since we last spoke I earned a Registered Holistic Nutritionist designation (and decided that I’m very much done with being a student and going school in the traditional sense but I’m still very much a student at heart and have enrolled in at least 3 online courses/programs/memberships since finishing school). I’ve just started my fifth or sixth ‘day job’ since 2016. I opened and then closed my holistic nutrition and wellness practice. I joined the amazing team over at That Clean Life doing what I do I love to do. My husband and I moved across town into an apartment with an amazing kitchen and a yard and a garage (and adulting definitely seems like more of a real thing living here). I was diagnosed with PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) which totally and completely rocked my world. I started going to therapy and traveled a little bit and took a lot of time to just hang out and figure out what I’m supposed to do next. And as is life, I was able to make some of the most amazing memories that I will cherish forever all while some really shitty things happened and I was not (and I’m still not) able to deal with them in the best and healthiest way.
Life in the best sense of the word just kind of caught up with me and it’s taken me a little bit of time to get back of the proverbial horse and figure out what my next steps would be when it comes to this space while trying to find a way to balance it all.
And I very much mean everything is fine and good and I’m totally doing great and, no, this isn’t one of those posts where we break up or someone dies or anything tragic like that…
But if I’ve learned anything in the past 2-ish years is that being honest with myself is so important and one of the most critical aspects to my overall happiness (and my happiness is something that I’ve really been working hard on over the last 12-months in particular because I realized that life as a huge ball of stress and anxiety is not a life I want to be living anymore). And I think one of the reasons why I’ve felt so much resistance and a total lack of commitment to the blog and my online community is that what I was doing and what this space was supposed to be all about is no longer what I’m all about.
Yes, life was busy and I had to shift and adjust my priorities (I needed to slow down on the blogging-front to be able to focus more of my attention on finishing school because at the time I was so, so, SO set on opening a nutrition practice and working in more of a clinical setting helping people one-on-one eat better and live better and finishing school was so important for that… turns out that was NOT for me but I’m still glad I finished school on time). But I think really stepping back from blogging and social media was so easy because it had gotten so far from what I meant it to be and what I needed it to be. It was just so NOT me anymore… I even question if it was me at all and rather just a pile of links that I thought people would maybe want to see or expected to see (not to get too self-reflective or overly judgey but it’s true).
Which brings me to the reason I really wanted to share this update…
The Point I’m Trying to Make #1: There are going to be a few changes around here.
It’s taken me a really long time to figure out what exactly I wanted to do here (and to be honest, it’s taken me a while to figure out what I actually wanted to do with my life at all #milennialprobs).
When I first got into blogging, I had no focus or direction – food that was kind of healthy and kind of tasty was really just it. I was so new to cooking and wanting to eat healthy that it was really what kind of worked for me at the time from all the new recipes I was trying out. Then we discovered my husband’s gluten issues and I became more GF focused and then my ‘niche’ transition into GF and plant-based and that’s kind of where I left things about 24 or so months ago.
Side Note: Hubby is no longer gluten free and seems to be doing pretty good.
But here’s the thing… as a nutritionist and self-proclaimed mega veggie lover who in the past had dabbled in vegetarianism and even veganism, I think plant-based is wonderful and if that’s something you do I think that’s really great, however, I am very far from living a plant-based/vegetarian/vegan-friendly life these days.
If I had to put a label on the types of food I’m eating it would be paleo meets I still very much love quinoa and chickpeas meets tons and tons of healthy fats. Let’s call it, Paleo-Inspired… I don’t know if that’s even the best way to describe it but I can say that I’m feeling good in terms of my energy levels and my mood and, believe it or not, how my skin looks and feels and how my hormones (that are way out of whack from the PCOS-situation) are on their way to getting somewhat back on track.
A plant-based only diet is not for me right now. At this point, doing a #meatlessmonday isn’t even for me. And because I am putting it all out there, for a long while I thought I was all about intuitive eating and the emotional side of eating – that’s not for me either.
And I’m OK with that.
What I am most passionate about when it comes to the food I eat is that it is real and that it is not full of junk. Above being gluten free or paleo or anything else, I don’t want what I’m eating to be jammed packed with added chemicals and preservatives or artificial colours and flavours and modified ingredients. I don’t want to eat food that’s been processed and refined or that it has traveled a million miles to reach my plate. I don’t want to stock my kitchen with items that are loaded with sugar (or artificial sugars) and I don’t want what’s most available to my family to be full of low-quality ingredients, trans fats or other additives.
I am most passionate and excited about the idea of clean eating (B-Y-E junk!), real ingredients (and ingredients that don’t cost a million dollars or are impossible to find) and local and sustainably sourced foods. So, please expect a lot more content and discussion around caring about the ingredients that go into your body with much, much, much less emphasis (or no emphasis… I don’t know yet?) on plant-based or vegan recipes or gluten free specific recipes or resources.
The other thing you won’t find here: healthy baking recipes (I’ve come to terms with the fact that I am NOT a baker and do not particularly enjoy baking or coming up with new baked good recipes).
And I’m totally OK with that.
My new food philosophy? Just eat real food and care about what you’re putting in your body!
Point to Make #2: Healthy eating is so much more than a recipe.
In the short time I spent working one-on-one with clients (maybe in future life update post I will share more about that experience…) and many conversations with customers in the different health food stores I was working at while in school, and really just being in the health and wellness space so to speak, I realized how eating well is so much more than a healthy recipe or two. It’s so much more than a following a ‘diet’ or a free download or any piece of nutrition education I could give out in a 2-minute conversion or 50-minute workshop. And it’s definitely more than counting calories or using an app to track the exact number of carbohydrates that enter your body on any given day.
I really do believe that healthy is a lifestyle (cliche or not) that you choose to commit to, and maybe more importantly, a mindset.
Maybe it’s my training in the holistic realm of nutrition (or the hours and hours of therapy over the last year), but I do believe our thoughts and feelings and attitudes and daily habits are just as much a part of being healthy as are our preferred method of exercise or how much kale we eat in a day.
So, with that being said, I still LOVE creating recipes and will continue to mostly do that (I think I’ve come like the photography aspect of food blogging the most and have been working hard to improve my photo-taking skills and to really define my photography style and mood) but please expect to see more healthy lifestyle content as well (think more like clean living, toxin-free home and that mindset piece as well). I am also wanting to really open up more and share more about my ongoing journey to healthy and what’s working for me.
Yeah, so, that’s kind of what’s been going on with me. You have no idea how excited I am for this next step and season of my life and the blog and am looking forward to roll out my new vision and mission in the coming months.
TL;DR – I’m changing things up around here to focus more on all things clean eating and healthy living. Just eat real food and care about what you’re putting in your body is my new food philosophy. Expect a fully revamped space to reflect this new theme soon!