This tale starts with my most dreaded and most frequently-asked question once someone discovers that I’m a personal chef: “Do you still cook at home?”
My true confession/dirty little secret is that I DON’T. After I’ve cooked all day long frankly the last thing I want to do is cook again. I just don’t. It’s pitiful – a chef eating cheese and crackers or store-bought hummus on top of store-bought pita and calling it a night. I create beautifully delicious, balanced meals for others but not for me.
Well I’m here to tell you that I have cooked dinner the last 24 nights in a row. I’ve turned over a new leaf and am now officially telling the world that I’m cooking dinner at night. Alert the media!
It all began when I decided to address my inordinate love of all things sugar – and that is sugar such as Gummi Bears, Swedish Fish, Twizzlers – not even ‘dark chocolate/good for you sugar’ but rather low-end garbage-y sugar. I needed to break that cycle and in essence get a grip.
I have for the last 3+ weeks embraced the Whole30 plan which basically consists of eating clean, identifiable foods that have not been processed or loaded with chemicals. Radical concept? No, but one I needed to try on for size.
Sugar is out – alcohol is out (there goes the glass of wine with the cheese and crackers!) – gluten and dairy are out; legumes and grains are out. Sounds awful but truly it isn’t. I’m eating vegetables galore with protein and filling up on berries and kiwi fruit and apples and cantaloupe to tame my sweet tooth.
Ironically enough the difficult part for me was having a fridge filled with proper foods that were prepped so I could ‘grab’ a meal quickly. I’ve spent Sundays stocking the fridge with snack-sized packs of chopped sweet potatoes, parsnips, bell peppers, carrots, winter squash, etc. so I can grab a pack, saute quickly in some avocado oil and toss with an egg, some diced chicken, a bit of lamb or bison and have a meal in a matter of 15 minutes. In essence, I’ve become my own personal chef! About time, I’d say.
I know I won’t eat this way every day going forward but the re-set feels good. After the 30 days I hope to hold onto some of these good habits, especially cooking dinner and prepping ahead. However, I predict there will be champagne and perhaps a handful vs bagful of Swedish Fish on my birthday next month!
Speaking of next month (November), it’s that time when we wrap our arms around our loved ones and enjoy a traditional (or not, in my case) meal sharing food and gratitude for all we have. One of the things I am eternally grateful for is being able to work in a field that gives me (and others) joy. Thank you to each and every one of my current and past (and future?) clients for allowing me to create this wonderful job.