Someone recently asked me if I always ate healthy, and the short answer is no. The typical goodies I enjoyed growing up and into my 20’s were desserts of all types, cookies, pizza, pasta, etc. When I lived in Boston I would eat out at restaurants all the time. The undeniable emotional connection between us and food is very powerful.
I still enjoy these foods in moderation, but now they inspire me to create healthier versions. And, while I do eat clean most of the time, I still believe in balance. I don’t deprive myself of eating pizza with my kids, or going out to eat for a date night with my husband. I am not the kind of person who reads food labels at my friends’ homes when I visit, or say “no” when offered food at social events.
Through the years I have definitely evolved in terms of the foods I eat. I can remember to this day revolting against my husband when he would make roasted vegetables for dinner. The smell of roasted broccoli and Brussel sprouts absolutely grossed me out. Now, I love roasted vegetables, and I have fun with different condiments and seasonings to spice them up a bit. Most foods can be turned into something spectacular with the right balance of textures and flavors. Except for meatloaf, I am forever scarred from seeing that meal in reverse when I was younger.
When I had kids I felt a lot of pressure from other moms to give them the best foods. While I did and still do go out of my way to make sure I provide them with quality foods, I am realistic that they also do like having their own sense of balance. I don’t deprive my family from going into the center of town to get a special breakfast or stopping by an ice cream shoppe on nice Summer days. I don’t say no at birthday parties when they are offered goodie bags or have play dates with friends, because it’s just not realistic to prevent them from eating a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. But, maybe before they reach for a brownie they can have some carrots from the veggie platter, or we bring our water bottles instead of loading up on endless amounts of juice boxes. My son Sammy could consume a whole bottle of juice if you let him, which is why I developed my juice recipe.
This is how Mindful Living with Amanda was started. I believe that we all deserve to feed ourselves with the best things in life both mentally and physically. I believe we deserve to be educated about the conventional food items we grew up on, because it is scary to read how harmful most of the foods our government approves to be on our shelves compared to other countries. Most of these foods by the way are marketed towards our children.
I believe in being mindful about what we eat, so that we can make the best decisions for whatever our lifestyles allow. I also believe that mentally we should be mindful about our relationship to food. There are so many diet trends, and while they offer the end goal of creating a healthier you they also base themselves on deprivation to some degree. Eating healthy should never be about shaming or cutting out certain fruits and vegetables because they have a high carb profile.
Most importantly I believe we should be mindful about how we project our own food beliefs onto others. We should never judge people for their choices, or try to sell them on what we think is best. What works for me is not going to work for you in some cases, and that’s okay. We are all on our own journey in life. We all have different circumstances, and we all deserve to be celebrated for where we are today.
For me, my passion is healthy cooking and serving those within my community, while understanding life is about balance. Maybe instead of the traditional cookie I use coconut flour and perhaps instead of high fructose corn syrup I use honey as a natural sweetener.
I enjoy getting to share a glimpse of my life, and all the delicious recipes from my kitchen to yours. This is how I create my balance.