I am so excited to share this guest post with you all. I’ve been waiting for a special mile marker, and we’ve finally reached one! 15,000 hits on My Journey to Lean Blog! Enjoy! ~Melissa
“Gerald Arnolds is a writer and amateur cook living in Seattle. He is a guest blogger for An Apple a Day and a writer on earning your nursing degree online for the Guide to Health Education. He would self-identify as interested in food science, modern cuisine, and ways in which to continue making food better for people while avoiding processed foods.”
“Growing up, I had the privilege of never having to think a whole lot about cooking; food was simply something presented in front of me, either by my mother or another cook, several times a day every week. As an adult I realize just how much work this would have required and how much time and energy goes into producing food on a daily basis.
“When I moved out in my late teens, I was suddenly responsible for feeding myself, and this required a pretty substantial reconfiguring of how I did things; I was required to either eat out several times every day, purchase a whole lot of frozen foods, or (gasp) cook for myself. After realizing that the first strategy was unaffordable and that the second only yielded miserable eating experiences, I decided that cooking was the best thing I could pursue.
“I made a few trips to the grocery store. I purchased a pile of vegetables, some staples (rice, noodles, and so on), some spices, and set to work. I quickly realized that I was only ever making pad thai well, which became boring quickly. All of the peanut oil that made my pad thai recipe so solid also helped me come to the conclusion that I probably wasn’t doing things quite right.
“As a consequence, I picked up a handful of cookbooks and went out of my way to get educated. I learned how to make salads, stews, and other things; however, health wasn’t yet an issue for me. It was only later on, when I got interested in why certain vegetables tasted so bad out of season, that I found myself fascinated with the availability of certain items at particular times in the year, the use of pesticides in growing, and the other factors that help determine the quality of one’s ingredients.
“From there, I realized that I needed to know more, and I tried to find ways to create simple, delicious meals that were low in carcinogens, unhealthy oils, and out-of-season ingredients while maximizing flavors and antioxidants. Within a year, I’d learned the importance of baking my own cereals to bring down sugars, realized that sweet potatoes were all sorts of awesome, quit cooking with tomatoes out of season, learned how to make a simple salad that was both filling and nutritious, and figured out why it’s important to toast spices before grinding them in making my own curry powders and pastes, among other things.
“Alongside exercise regiments and other things that incidentally changed over the course of my life, I found myself feeling cleaner, making better food than my friends who cooked pasta with a heavy cream sauce every night, saving money, and generally feeling healthier than I did when I was eating a diet heavy in fried foods, prepackaged vegetables and fatty meats. Over a longer period of time, I found myself losing weight, feeling happier about who I was, and more in tune with my body and my surroundings than I’d ever been before.”
Thank you, Gerald, for this guest post. And thank you, An Apple A Day Blog, for sharing it with me! Enjoy the journey!