What is really important to me? That is the question I am asking myself as I look at this upcoming year. I want my actions to follow my true values in all that I do. And that is really important for my writing here at The Nourishing Gourmet too.
So, as I have considered the type of recipes I share here, the challenges I present, and the message I bring, I have decided to re-work a couple of things.
1st Resolution: Eat lots of really good food
My first personal resolution for 2013 is not going on a diet, not about getting more exercise, not about going on a cleanse, not about becoming a sugar Nazi. My first priority this new year is to feed my family really good, really nourishing, really nutrient-dense foods in abundance. While I think many of us aim to do just that, we often fall far short of a really nutrient dense diet. I have been thinking about that, and it has caused me to make “big plans” for my blog in regard to that issue.
I am cancelling the Sugar Cleanse/Detox Challenge
I am actually “canceling” my usual sugar detox/challenge that I’ve done every year in January! In this challenge, I encouraged you to give up sugar to varying degrees. A lot of you participated, and I got good feedback on the challenge. On the other hand, a lot of you failed at it….sometimes miserably. While I still believe that sugar addictions are a real problem (the failures proved that, in fact), and while I still plan on doing a sort of sugar-free life this next month personally, I felt like giving up sugar was not the message I wanted to bring to you. It really isn’t the most important message I have for you.
I think I have a better message. And I think I have a better challenge for you all too.
Being well nourished is not about what you take out
You see, the sugar cleanse challenge is all about taking something out of your diet. And yes, there is a lot of garbage in most of our diets, and that’s not good. But having a good, healing, nourishing diet is emphatically not about what you take out of your diet, but what you put into your diet. Many cleanses can be very helpful, including ones that help cure addictions to sweets, however they only go so far. Someone who is constantly cleansing an undernourished body is not going to be healthy.
What I want for my family, and the message I want to share with you is all about adding in delicious, nutrient dense foods into your diet. In fact, if you have some sort of addiction (like a sugar addiction) eating a really good diet full of nutrient dense foods may be the most important thing for you to do. And guess what? I think that you can have a robust, healthy diet without removing every possible starch and sweet from your diet.
Why I haven’t always talked a lot about food philosophy
I have been somewhat reluctant to talk a lot about my food philosophy because I want all of those who have varying degrees of differences with me in how I feed myself and family to feel welcomed here. I think that it is sad that food choices can be so divisive. The lovely picture of people rejoicing and making merry around a table laden heavy with food is my ideal picture of what food should do – it should draw us together. In the blogosphere though, there is a lot of bickering and arguing. Although discussing the merits of different eating habits is important, I wasn’t sure I wanted to step into the fray a lot. I am so glad that paleo foodies and vegans alike find recipes that they can use and enjoy here at The Nourishing Gourmet. And it is important to my values that it stays that way.
Why I am excited
But when considering my core values, and what I want this blog to be, I decided that I can venture out again into sharing more about why I cook the way I do, important information on nutrient dense foods, and resources to help you make changes in your diet to be more nutrient dense. I am actually way more excited about this then simply my message of taking something out of your diet. I am excited because I think that this message is far more important.
Plus, it really jives with what I am concentrating on with my own family. I have growing children and it is vital for me to be giving them lots of really great, nourishing foods.
Is this really that life-changing?
You know, “nutrient dense” foods is a term used a lot, and that over use can actually deceive us in thinking that we are eating a “nutrient dense” diet when we aren’t. “Hey, I had chocolate and kale today! So nutrient dense! I must be healthy!” This isn’t the type of nutrient dense diet I am talking about. It is also possible to eat many nutrient dense foods, but to not have in your diet certain important foods that leave a big hole in nutrient levels. I wrote a book about soups this year, and boy did we eat a lot of soups! Homemade broths are really important to me for a nutrient dense diet, but even while we had that base covered, other bases weren’t covered so well. I realized that there were gaps in what I was eating and feeding my family.
But it doesn’t have to be hard. Simplifying eating really well is part of what I want to bring to you with new resources.
My second personal resolution is to work at getting better sleep. My two-year old’s nap/night time sleeping is really wacky right now. If she takes a nap, she goes to sleep way too late, and we don’t get to bed early enough. If she doesn’t take a nap, she can be overtired and then not sleep soundly. We are in that awkward transition time with her and trying to figure it out. Hopefully we can soon, so that we can all be sleeping better!
If I can successfully do both of these things, get good sleep and eat a lot of nutrient dense foods, we are going to have a healthier, happier new year! I have some side plans for how to do both of those things, like making more freezer meals, etc. I will keep you posted on that.
Meanwhile, please stay tuned for more information on my new challenge! I hope that you join us, because it is going to be way more fun then taking out every grain of sugar from your diet!