When I was a kid, my mother probably thought I was adopted. She wasn't really a foodie and neither was my younger sister. When my mother took us out to eat, they would always order familiar dishes that they'd order over and over again while I would look for the most foreign-sounding thing on the menu. They would laugh and ridicule me especially when I didn't like what I ordered. My dad survived on a diet of cigarettes, whisky and energy bars.
As the years went by, food became the bane of my existence. I started to rely on food to fill a void in my life. My father left when I was 5 and my mother was hardly ever home as she was forced to support two kids on her own. I ate and ate until I could hardly breathe and ballooned to a whopping 250 pounds. At my 5 ft 9 frame, that was definitely not a good thing.
Many years of trying out fad diets and yo-yo dieting, I finally made a decision to lose the weight. I hated what I saw in the mirror and realized, probably for the first time that it was really up to me. So I decided to lose my excess weight and to improve my health and this time, I did it for myself.
My Weight LossI basically cut out refined carbs ( white rice, bread, flour, sugar ) from my diet and the pounds started to come off. Exercise was also a big part of my lifestyle change, but the way I looked at food had to change as well. Instead of gravitating towards food for comfort, I decided to enjoy food for what it really is. The right food nourishes, invigorates and energizes the body. Good-tasting food is to be savored and enjoyed with every single bite. I started to become conscious of everything I put into my mouth.
At 158 pounds, I am at my ideal weight and have maintained it for over two decades. I still have a tendency to gain weight quickly but I manage to never gain more than a few pounds at a time and I always make sure I get back to that magic number. I do this by what works for me best - cutting out the refined carbs from my diet.
Balance is Key to My Health and SanityIn recent years, the Paleo Diet has become all the rage most notably in Western countries. In Japan, no one's heard of it yet and it's no wonder why. Obesity has never been a problem in this country. The Japanese way of eating is a healthy way and it's quite simple. Eat food that's in peak season for optimum health and taste. Eat only until you're satisfied and not stuffed. Drink lots of green tea. Of course they still indulge in all sorts of goodies but they do it in moderation.
This is exactly how I manage to maintain my health and weight while enjoying all my favorite foods, no matter what they may be. I don't adhere strictly to any single diet plan anymore. I simply use common sense. I'll even enjoy a cupcake now and then because I simply love them. Once I have my sugary treat though, I'm usually back to eating something healthy for my next meal. And I mostly drink water and teas to stay hydrated.
My RecipesMy love for food didn't end at restaurants. It also extended into the kitchen and a day spent experimenting with a new recipe is a day well spent. Time flies when I'm cooking up a storm. As you can see, my recipe collection is an eclectic one - traditional Japanese dishes to Hawaiian local cuisine, Paleo Pancakes to Flour-based cupcakes, I cook what I feel like cooking. If you're health-conscious, remember that moderation is key. But that's just me so go ahead and decide which ones you like best!
For me, cooking and eating is all about having fun and enjoying everything about it!
When I was 21, I got the opportunity to travel to Germany, where my passion for travel was born. Since then, traveling continues to be one of my favorite "pastimes" and I try to do it as much as I can. I've traveled around the world a few times and I still haven't seen it all. The world is a huge place there's still so much to see, experience and eat!
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