The book cover to “It Starts With Food” by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig, tells you that your life will change in unexpected ways… and it does.
This was my breakfast today…… a delicious and unexpected mix of Romenesco, fresh homemade Pico de Gallo and Pasture raised, poached eggs. 26 days ago it would have included cheese and tortillas. Not now. I heard about this book from my friend and professional model Danika @danikabrysha. I heard about it from two professional athletes that I feed. I started making changes to their food plans and decided if I was going to cook it for others then I better try it for myself. All I can say is wow!
I am a professional chef right? and I have lived by the motto “never trust a skinny chef” for years. Suited me fine since I have probably gained and lost the same 40 pounds for the last 25 years. When you are cooking everyday for people’s celebrations it is easy to get lost in cheese paradise. What celebration dinner does not include the best wine, cheese, organic vegetables and heirloom raised meats and not let’s forget a great slice, or loaf, of artisan bread. …and they should, just not everyday, which is easy to forget when you cook all day, everyday for work.
My journey with a healthy body began three years ago when I started my Ashtanga Yoga practice. About the same time I was dedicated to the farm to table movement which I had always been a part of. I was raised with a large garden and chickens that were free range, best eggs ever! When I was a young Chef my heroes were all of the slow food pioneers. Alice Waters, Jeremiah Towers, even Julia, my heroine. being a Northern California girl had its perks in the food world. San Francisco had a great food culture in the late eighties that is thriving today in 2014 in So Cal and beyond.
But lets get back to food, I think the real celebration starts with our attitude towards it. This book, The Whole 30, made me rethink my habits, which truly were not bad. I don’t eat much processed food, I use only organic vegetables form local farms or we grow our own in our garden at home. I only buy my meat from small farms who raise their animals the right way …in pastures, lovingly, no hormones no antibiotics. My cheese come from the best local farms, so does my honey. My family and clients have always been fed this way, whether in my restaurant, catering or my home. so why change? Well for one thing I was carry around extra belly weight which is really unhealthy and I figured if I could attack that then it was a good thing. No more baggy chef pants and jackets to cover it up, time to get rid of it for good. Yoga clothes tell the whole story, right?
Long story short I started their eating plan 26 days ago and now I feel like I can talk about it from experience to my family, friends, clients and well really… to whoever has interest. I am not called Chatty Cathy for nothing! This is not about dieting, it is about eating whole foods for 30 days and thinking about it as you go along, Falling in love with the seasons and what they produce and introducing yourself to the small passionate farmers and growers in your community. More to come in the following days with recipes and thoughts!!