ShArpil 2015 is drawing to a close. Finally. And I have many reflections and introspections that I couldn't have predicted. My culinary creativity has vastly improved. My naturopath (ND) says I'm eating so well that I don't need to take a multi-vitamin. My energy is high, consistent, and clear. And my synapses feel like they are firing on crazy fast levels. This month, however, has not been anywhere near easy, or even really that fun. And one my biggest surprises is the utter lack of understanding and support from the majority of people I know. This became especially evident when, upon seeing my (probably obnoxious) social media posts about food, the reaction seemed to be "But how do you have time for this?!"
The simple answer: I don't.
I absolutely do not have time to make every single meal for myself and my husband from scratch. It would be ridiculous to keep going at this pace. (Let alone if we had children!). Cooking this month has been, in all honesty, a part time job. And I am lucky enough to be in a position to make the time to have tackled this.
My day-to-day routine has become: wake up early, clean and cook. Clean again. Come lunch time, hope that I have leftovers. If not, cook and clean again. Start thinking about dinner...spend at least an hour preparing it. Clean again. (Not to mention the hubby's relentless dish-doing as well!)
And in the midst of all that, work. And grocery shop at StLM (time-consuming but well worth it). And keep my house. And see my family and have perhaps an ounce of a social life. And go to yoga and play gigs. It's been a crazy month.
The complicated answer to how I have time: I prioritize it.
This answer extends far beyond the reaches of ShApril. I prioritize food and health, plain and simple. I prioritize it with my cash, my effort, and my hours at the market and in the kitchen. Did I ever see myself in such a domestic role? No. But do I think that food ethics and nutrition are paramount? Yes!
We are what we eat. This is incredibly true. Most studies, MD's and ND's will agree that many illnesses are based on a) stress and b) diet and lifestyle. What could possibly be more important than nourishing our bodies with nutritious, healthy fuel? How can we attempt productivity, fitness, mental health and creativity if our bodies are not nourished properly?
Food will always be a top priority for myself and my family. It's a huge factor that is perfectly within my control, and that should not be taken for granted. But does this mean I won't ever eat a box of KD again? Of course not. That would not be realistic.
A beautiful example of this comes to mind...when Michael Pollan begins his book "The Omnivore's Dilemma", he recounts a tale of him and his family eating McDonald's in their car. Seriously, that's how the book begins. This inspirationally ethical, conscious, and brilliant journalist admits to eating the most deplorable of foods. Why? Because we are all human! And just because we may spend years doing food research and weeks foraging our own meal from the forrest and land (as the author does), it does not mean we don't slip up and fall prey to convenience. Or cravings. This example is a perfect illustration of "Everything in moderation including moderation", and of my personal motto of being a "conscious consumer".
This month has been surprising in every way, and I definitely won't keep eating like this forever. But it does remind me to be thankful for modern conveniences. And has helped me gain a lot of empathy towards traditional household gender roles (rant to come). What it has absolutely encouraged me to do is to be open minded to each individual's food ethics, and to strive to be an encouragement to those around me. Was I expecting tons of support and love from this crazy diet? Not really. Would it have helped get me through? Maybe. All I can say is that I am thankful that I took on this crazy challenge, and thankful that May 1st is just around the corner.