When it comes to health and wellness, I have always thought I had it all put together. I’ve always gotten a good amount of exercise, even for someone who does a job that requires you to sit all day long with your eyeballs glued to a screen. I have practiced Aikido diligently for well over 20 years, including teaching from time-to-time, and I like to think that I have my mind pretty well connected to my body.
What I have put INTO to my body throughout my life is a different story. When it comes to nutrition, for most of my younger years I was of the opinion that if a meal takes more than 4 minutes in the microwave, it was too much effort. I was too busy to spend any time preparing good food for myself – I had people to see and things to do. I continued to think this way despite moving in my late 20s to New Orleans, considered by many to be a culinary mecca in the U.S. I always tended to dismiss the exigent nature of healthy eating… but it gets worse.
As I’ve written before, the fact that I ate poorly doesn’t mean I didn’t immensely enjoy my experience living in New Orleans. I did what you do when you live in a town where many bars are open 24 hours and that has no open-carry laws (when you leave a bar with a half-finished drink you pour it into a plastic cup and take it to the street with you)… I partied. Hard. When I eventually returned to Seattle from New Orleans I was about 80 lbs. heavier than I am today. I knew I was living a profoundly unhealthy lifestyle. I was probably on my way to an earlier-than-necessary grave.
And so I motivated myself to undergo a bit of a nutrition rebirth after New Orleans. I got very interested in juicing after watching Joe Cross’ documentary Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, and immediately invested in a cheap NutriBullet juicer. I stopped drinking alcohol. Over the next couple years, I started to really enjoy going to local farmers markets and taking home produce for my juice concoctions, and the weight started to pour off. Check out another post on the debt of gratitude I owe to the farmers market vendors who supplied all that amazing produce.
Years later, I had retained many of the new habits and the extra weight stayed off, but I was still generally eating like a guy in his 20s, with tons of processed food and sugar. I came to realize that the basic relationship I had with food had been skewed for most of my life.
Since I met my wife Aubrey over 6 years ago, among the myriad of ways she has enriched my world is by sharing a lifelong appreciation for a well-made dinner that I had never experienced before. Check out a previous post on some of our amazing restaurant experiences together, at places throughout the Pacific Northwest.
But I have also expanded my cooking horizons beyond my previous microwave-existence. Among my favorite dishes to make now are pan-seared chicken beasts and salmon filets, stuffed portabello Mushrooms, and my wife’s all time favorite – fresh local oysters on the half-shell. I love experimenting with spices and preparation methods, well as finding new ways to incorporate different varieties of vegetable sides. For a guy who previously NEVER cooked, this is positive growth. I look forward to further expanding my horizons to more complex dishes, proteins, and flavors.
I have cut down drastically on dairy and gluten, and even reigned in my sugar intake a bit (although I still have a pretty prolific sweet tooth). Aubrey is also a ubiquitous tea-drinker, and she even has me drinking tea now to curb my insane coffee-addition. Never thought it would happen. My wife is not a nutritionist, she is an amazing therapist (her’s was one of the first websites I did after hanging out my own shingle). However, the influence she has had on my life and health has been similar. It motivates me to help professionals who do specialize in personal health, wellness and nutrition.
My personal health and nutrition practices are definitely a work in progress, as they are for most people. Hopefully the clients I work with can help me continue to refine these practices, as I attempt to help them grow their businesses at the same time.