The purpose behind TMT.
My hope is that everything on TMT promotes the message that “healthy eating” begins with a nourishing relationship with ourselves. Especially within the context of overall health, this is a very complicated thing to try and understand. I firmly believe that regularly eating nutritious foods has a positive effect on our overall health. However, taking care of ourselves involves, well, A LOT of things outside of food and diet, and whether or not you eat gluten or meat or carbs or whatever else is questionable in the diet sphere is irrelevant.
In my day job, I study factors like habits, behaviors, food access, time, resources, and privilege in relation to food and nutrition. To simply be able to have the time and resources to analyze or question what healthy eating looks like is a very fortunate place to be. For me to create TMT as a place to make and share food for the sake of enjoyment and self expression is an incredible blessing.
My hope, therefore, is that this is not wasted space. I want to positively contribute to the internet sphere, even though the message is a simplistic one and nothing new:
- Healthy eating is SO MUCH MORE than our food choices, and we should perhaps not always focus on the nutrient content or health profile of food.
- Eating from an intuitive mindset is wonderful for our mental and physical health. Practicing self-awareness of our own food-related beliefs, habits, and attitudes that are influenced by stigma and culture is essential to an intuitive relationship with food.
- Recognize that there are a lot of health and wellness questions to which we don't have the answer, and perhaps never will.
- Life is far more exciting when you are serving, sharing, and in community with other people. There is a lot of life to be lived outside of food!
In other words, helping people to consciously choose to simply enjoy food for the sake of it, rather than examine it from personal, sociocultural, and health perspectives, is sometimes pretty darn healthy.
A truly healthy relationship with food = food freedom.
Finding food freedom is a worthwhile endeavor for anyone, and is entirely possible. I understand only too well how restrictions (medical or otherwise) feed an unhealthy mindset and cause a massive distortion of food’s role in our lives. This, plus all of the “stuff” (what I’m going to call the other extra factors that affect our thoughts and behaviors around food) can manifest a destructive relationship with food. I am certainly not adept at understanding and/or counseling all of the possible reasons for this, but I am personally and professionally experienced with food allergies, celiac disease, and IBS. And you know what? These things are real, but they don't need mean an anxious, restrictive, joyless, and tumultuous relationship with food. And what better way to enjoy food for the sake of it than to, you know, make some? And share it? And enjoy the artistry and beauty and connection that food can bring to our lives? I strive to do this in my own daily life, with the understanding that I have the incredible blessing and privilege of access to food and the daily option to choose what to eat.
All things considered, an intuitive relationship with food is very difficult to cultivate given our culture. When necessary dietary restrictions or a complicated past medical history come into play, an already tricky task becomes extra tricky. That’s why this blog is here! No matter the circumstance, food is meant to be enjoyed. Whether that is dealing with a food allergy, a medical diagnosis, incorporating more health-promoting behaviors, or working on an overall non-diet mentality, getting our hands dirty is 90% of the battle. When the challenge involves changing our food habits, cooking is one way that can put the joy and pleasure back into food. It was some time before I started making the end goal to have a truly healthy approach to having dietary restrictions, and this really is a constant process given our wellness culture and constant diet fixation. Now, I love being able to create a recipe that I can share with loved ones and enjoy together, regardless of what it is made of.
My favorite part of being a dietitian is that I do get to help people, in a way tailored just for them. It is increasingly important to me to help spread the messages of intuitive eating, body acceptance, and that all foods (or as many as possible given individual conditions) really do fit. I’m doing my best to live it and I truly want others to work towards the same happy place. Food is only one dynamic aspect of living, and we would do well to pay attention to our health in other ways, too!
On the blog world.
Blogs have been a wonderful resource personally, especially with re-learning how to cook after being diagnosed with celiac disease. After getting a bit more comfortable in the kitchen post-celiac meltdown, I have started sharing my (successful) food experiments with family and friends. With so much reliance on blogs in my own life, it sounded like SO MUCH FUN to become part of the sphere.
TMT is a space dedicated to celebrating the joys of food for people who have celiac disease, food allergies, are plant-based curious, or just feel like stopping by for tasty eats. I hope to set an example of being an inclusive, joyful eater while living with medical restrictions, and to do my best to show that managing dietary modifications without the oft-attached restrictive diet mentality and stigma is entirely doable. AND I don’t feel like people will complain too much about yet another glorious cookie recipe :).
If you read this, I hope it was helpful. As always, send me an email or leave a comment with any questions. Cheers!