Food Funk and Food Perspective

Me, taking a break from work and enjoying an iced chai I did not make. (Does anyone else feel like a total dork taking selfies?) #messyhairdontcare #rwc #relax #enjoythelittlethings

Have you ever been in a food funk? Normally, cooking is my stress release and while I often cook for my whole family, it’s also my personal time. But the last couple of weeks I have just not felt like cooking! I’m tired from the end of the semester, I want to spend more time outside, and I just need a short break to refresh and come back inspired.

So today, instead of sharing a recipe, I thought I’d share my food perspective. This departure from my usual recipe sharing also comes at a good time as our first RWC event, the Eat & Greet, is this weekend. I hope my sharing encourages you to come out and share with me. I would love to meet as many of our readers as possible.
As part of my respite from cooking, we went to my favorite restaurant on Mother’s Day. These are the leftovers of my cactus, jalapeño, and roasted garlic side dish. Yum!

Growing up, I was never been much of a cook; I didn’t really learn to make more than the basics until after college when I lived on my own for the first time without roommates or a mom to eat and cook with. Like many other single girls in the mid-2000s, I relied so much on Rachael Ray’s “30 Minute Meals” and Alton Brown’s “Good Eats.” Rachael helped me realize that cooking wasn’t so scary after all, and Alton made the science understandable.

But as a vegetarian, many cooking shows left me unfulfilled because of the focus on meat instead of vegetable-based proteins. That, along with moving culture (baking, knitting, building, etc.) made me want to find out more about what I was eating.

I am also married to a man I call the “anti-vegetarian.” Not in that he discourages vegetarianism, but that if he never had to eat a vegetable in his life, he’d be happy. He is an admittedly picky eater, which meant when we married in 2008, we both had to learn how to cook in new ways. Actually, it would be more accurate to say we just plain needed to learn how to cook! Before I became involved with RWC, we joked that we should start a blog detailing our cooking struggles, so some of that will show up here from time to time.

Adding to that, in 2013, I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. If I was trying to be aware of what I was eating before, pregnancy, nursing and eventually introducing him to table food (we chose baby-led weaning) amplified it to a whole new level!

I am also working slowly toward a graduate degree in communication, one class at a time. One of my interests is communication about food and access to healthy food for all. There are still shortcomings in access to healthy food in the form of food deserts, but progress is being made.

So now, I’m just one eater in a bustling family of three (along with a cat and dog, both aging) trying to make healthy and delicious choices in a busy world. I’d like to say we grow all of our own food and have it down to a science, but that wouldn’t be truthful. And that’s what I love about Real Women Cook: We’re here, being real, doing the best we can. Would I love to make all our food from scratch, grow an abundant garden of vegetables, and try new recipes every day? Sure. But as a mom and wife working full-time at a university, studying part-time, wanting to sleep and have a social life sometimes, that’s just not going to happen every day. And I suspect that’s true of many, many people out there; women and men alike.

We’re all just doing the best we can, trying to be good to ourselves, our families, and our communities.  Let’s do it together; leave your comments and crazy ideas, suggestions and just say hi.

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