The first of our four chestnut trees have started to drop nuts. I can already tell you I’m going to be eating a ton of these! They are sweet and perfect. I’m also going to start looking up chestnut flour baking recipes. It’s a perfect alternative to our Celiac household.
So, I wanted to pull up a an old (and dear) subject. One I don’t share very much anymore.
Now, my days of telling people what to eat are over, so I am only sharing what I do for myself and my family. I was a restaurant manager (with the degree to prove it) and then a CrossFit Level I coach, so my involvement with food has spanned almost twenty years.
I love food. Love it!
But, I also use it as an emotional anesthetic.
In my life I have used food to celebrate, to numb myself, to hate myself, to fuel myself, to feel in control and to feel out of control.
Food and I? It’s complicated.
I’ve been on every diet or nutritional plan. I did Slim Fast. My mom talked me into doing the Cabbage Soup diet with her. I was a vegetarian for years. I did the Zone. I did Paleo. I did Flex dieting. I went Keto.
They all worked…somewhat. What none of them addressed was my mind, my heart, my soul, and my relationship with food.
Then, through a keto podcaster, I heard about intuitive eating.
What? Eat what you want? No limits? Trust your body?
That all seemed sacrilegious to me. I had already learned I could not trust my body. Here was a “diet” that advocated doing exactly that. After “falling off” the keto wagon yet again, I looked at the looming holidays and said OK.
So life changing.
For the first time in twenty-five years I ate what I wanted, as much as I wanted.
The first couple of weeks, I was eating bread and cookies and all the things I had denied myself. Every time I told myself I was fine. I was OK. I was allowed. Weeks moved into months and something strange started happening. The bread lost it’s appeal. The cookies went from four or five to one or none. Quite simple the forbidden fruit, once no longer forbidden, wasn’t quite so tempting any more. By the time my Christmas cruise to the Caribbean came around, I was back to eating mostly paleo, high-fat with the occasional sweet treat thrown in. It turns out that’s the way I like to eat, and how I feel best. The few pounds I gained during the initial weeks of intuitive eating came off.
So, after decades of hyper fixation on food, now I just enjoy it. I start every morning with a fat fuel latte (keto). I eat a breakfast of eggs and veggies (paleo). And if I want dried mangos or a croissant, I eat it.
I no longer need to “forgive” myself, because there is nothing to forgive.
Thursdays are always the day I put the most time in behind the wheel. By the time dinner rolls around it’s all I can do get something on the table. This is tonight’s effort, a fry-up. I cannot remember where I learned to make this, but it’s a lifesaver when your too tired to be creative.
When I called them in from the dinner, my boys came in bearing a sprouted chestnut they found out in the side yard. We have two chestnut trees in front of the house. They are beautiful and big, but I haven’t a clue about what kind of chestnut tree. Chestnuts are not native to California. The American chestnut is actually called the “Redwood of the East” and is native only east of the Mississippi. In trying to figure out if mine are American, Japanese, Chinese, European or a hybrid I’ve become fascinated by these trees.
The day we came to the open house, and first saw what would be our new home, we had to wait for the selling agent to sweep a path from our car to the front porch due to the thick carpet of chestnut burrs all over the ground. The trees are only just now starting to show signs of waking up after their winter sleep. Green is peeking out from the buds here and there.
I’m looking forward to roasting chestnuts for yule at the end of the year. If anyone knows anything about chestnut trees, please help me figure mine out!
I just made a meal sooooooo good that I have to put the recipe here so I’ll remember:
2 Tbs Coconut oil
2 lbs grass-fed ground beef
1/4 large onion, diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped in 1/2 inch pieces
2 carrots, sliced
1 and a half cups sliced baby bellas
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped in 1 inch pieces
1 bag baby spinach
1 cup chicken broth
McCormick’s Montreal steak seasoning
2 Tbs butter
In a large stock pot, sauté onions, carrots and celery in coconut oil. Add ground beef and season with Montreal steak seasoning, thyme, garlic powder, and parsley (I have no clue how much I used but I was generous!) Once the meat is browned add the mushrooms, zucchini, and sweet potato with half the chicken broth, cover and simmer on low until the potatoes are cooked. Then add the butter, rest of the broth, and spinach and mix it all together until the spinach is wilted. Salt to taste. The kids loved this one!
Almond meal chicken tenders, spaghetti squash and a salad of spinach, tomatoes, radishes, green bell peppers and toasted sliced almonds. (What’s that? Why, yes, I do cut every piece of chicken to make sure it is cooked through. I’m paranoid that way.)