Friday, July 31, 2009

Introduction and Defense

I'm a wife--to a wheat-intolerant husband. A mother--to a round and happy boy. A runner--to feel better about myself.

I eat clean. (At least, I do my best. Nobody is perfect.) I love to cook and organize, and in my small amounts of free time, read. For me, "eating clean" means that I eat 5 or 6 small meals a day, drink lots of water, and choose not to eat white sugar, white flour, or ingredients I can't pronounce. Each meal is a combination of lean protein and complex carbs, and I never skip breakfast. It's one of my favorite meals of the day! When I have a treat, it's usually a small glass of wine, bittersweet chocolate, a fabulous dessert (dark chocolate gelato!) or birthday cake for one of my family members.

Eating clean does not mean that I don't like your cooking, or that I think I am better than you. It's not about you. This is something I do for me, for my family. My son does not eat French fries or hot dogs. The only chicken nuggets he's ever tasted were a homemade clean version. And if you knew him, you'd know he was in no way suffering because of these things. My husband eats his burgers without buns, thanks to his wheat allergy--but it's made the transition to clean eating that much easier. We don't have to deal with the hassle of finding whole-grain hamburger buns without loads of preservatives. Besides, it makes creating juicy, flavorful burgers a fun challenge because they have to taste good without being hidden between pieces of bread and drowned in nutritionally-empty condiments.

I am always looking for new recipes and ingredients (do *you* know what to do with sorrel? sorghum flour?) and really love paging through my cookbooks and food magazines. It makes me want to dash out to the farmer's market or natural-foods store and pick up a bunch of ingredients to play with. Since I am a black-thumbed, poor excuse of a gardener, I must rely on other people to grow my produce. I'll just turn it into tasty things once that part is done!

Clean eating is something I stumbled across one day in the early summer of this year. The past two months have been a learning experience for me (and my husband and son, as they are stuck eating what I make). One of the things I've learned is that I've never felt better than I do when I eat clean. As a person living with Crohn's disease, that alone is worth the dietary adjustments.

I have learned that a "carbohydrate hangover" is not a feeling I care to relive anytime soon. I've dropped a few pounds after months of a stubborn plateau. I've also learned that my son, just a year old, loves fresh fruit and grown-up flavors. He has turned up his tiny nose at a piece of cake (what kid doesn't like cake?!) in favor of a few green grapes or a fistful of fresh-picked blueberries. He won't eat sweetened "baby" yogurts, but will scarf down a bowl of organic plain yogurt mixed with sweet potato puree. His 1st birthday meal was baked falafel and tzatziki sauce with tomato-cucumber salad. Love that kid.

Though far from a clean-eating expert, I am excited to share my experience with others, perhaps helping them begin or stick with a clean-eating lifestyle. This is my blog about my food and my family--we are clean-eating machines.