When the idea of changing my diet was initially brought up to me, I literally ignored it. I wanted nothing to do with it. I thought I was eating healthy, and for the most part I was. I love food. I love the experience of food. So when my life coach, Dr. Shawn Haywood, asked me to do an elimination diet, I thought, “Great. I can’t run, I can’t drink red wine anymore and I can’t drink caffeinated coffee and now you want me to give up chocolate, dairy and gluten. Forget it. Not doing it. I will never do it.” In fact, I believe I was silently screaming “NO! NO! NO! NO!” in my head like my two year old does when I ask him to brush his teeth. But much like my two year old, I eventually gave in. Thanks to my Form Yoga community, I was able to ease into it by doing one of their 14-day cleanses that forces you to eat real food but eliminate sugar, dairy, gluten, caffeine and alcohol.
As it turns out there is a learning curve when it comes to completely overhauling your diet.
I remember when I got the list of foods to buy in the grocery store I had no idea what half of them even were. Believe me my friends, if you don’t know what maca powder, cacao and goji berries are it’s okay: you are not alone! It took me nearly two hours to grocery shop my first time because I was going in circles looking for things that I had no idea what they were.
Once I got everything home, I began cooking. As you probably already know from my previous blogs I love eating this way now, but along the way a few funny things have happened. I have made terrible messes and nearly burned the house down!
In my first blog I wrote about the delicious chocolate bark that made me say, “I can do this, I can be vegan.” What I didn’t write about was the time when I put it in the freezer to solidify and I didn’t notice the pan tipped over and spilled all over the inside of the freezer. When I opened the door to check if it had hardened, what was left in the pan slid out and landed all over the floor, rug and me. There was literally chocolate that had hardened to the shelves, the bags of frozen blueberries and even the ice packs. Luckily, my friend Nora was with me, and we spent the next hour hysterically laughing and scraping the inside of the freezer with a butter knife and hot water and cleaning the rug and floor in the kitchen with a steam cleaner that I had lent to a friend a few days prior.
Then there was the first time I tried to make cashew cheese. Have you ever heard of nutritional yeast? I hadn’t heard of it before so I assumed that when the recipe called for nutritional yeast it meant the same yeast I used to make bread. WRONG! It is completely different. When I finished making the cashew cheese in the food processor I put it in a cute little mason jar in the fridge and went about my day. A few hours later I heard a “pop” and couldn’t figure out where it came from. When I finally opened the fridge to make dinner, I found cashew cheese splattered everywhere. It was all over the inside of the fridge: on the milk carton and even on the inside of the drawer a shelf below. Apparently, regular yeast is NOT nutritional yeast. And if you do make the mistake of using regular yeast, beware: it will explode everywhere if you try to contain it! Lesson learned.
Not only am I a champ at making new messes all over the kitchen, but I also apparently excel at nearly creating grease fires. Yes, that’s right: grease fires. Listen this is only funny because everything was fine- I have definitely learned from this mistake!
Just last week I asked my husband to sit at the counter to talk to me while I was cooking. Typically, I cook alone, wearing my apron and singing at the top of my lungs, which seems to keep me focused on what I am doing. Well, not this time. This time my cute husband was sitting across the way distracting me. I heated up the coconut oil and thought the recipe said to put a tablespoon of water in the pan when the oil was hot. What it actually said was a drop of water. In case you don’t know, this is a big difference. When I put the tablespoon of water in, the pan started sizzling, and grease was spitting everywhere! Both my husband and I jumped back out of the way and watched as the entire stove was covered in coconut oil. Ooops…lucky for us nothing caught on fire, and we were able to turn it off before anything really bad happened. Needless to say, my husband doesn’t seem to want to talk to me when I’m cooking anymore. I have no idea why!
Every new cook or seasoned cook trying new things will enviably have a few mishaps. I have one or two a week! As long as you are having fun and trying to make healthy choices, who cares- in the end laughing about these silly mistakes will probably do you some good. Be careful, and keep trying to make healthy choices.