Monday, October 12, 2015

1 Year Blogiversary + Party Food

Happy Blogiversary!!

Well, believe it or not the "Adventures in Partaking" blog is 1 year old. My first post appeared a year ago last week and a lot has changed and I've learned A LOT along the way. So, by way of celebration I thought we'd have a little party. There will be food, a speech or two and some fantastic prizes. If only I could figure out a way to add in a party game and some music we'd be in business.



All good parties start with food, right? So, here's what I'd be serving you if this were a real party and not a virtual one. Welcome to the party and let's eat!



Appetizers



Treats






Drinks
  • Ginger Ale - from 'Healing Family Eats'
  • frozen berries & mint in sparkling water



I know, you came for the food and the prizes, but I thought a speech was in order. Here are 10 things I've learned in my year of blogging and 15 months of living AIP...

  1. You can't do this alone. I've been so encouraged by the support of the online AIP community...support groups on facebook and the friendship I've developed with other AIP bloggers. It's encouraging to know other people are going through the same things you are. I've virtually met people who helped me get started on this journey like Bre'anna from He Won't Know It's Paleo, and I've met people in person who are struggling with the same things I am and I hope I've been an encouragement to people who are just starting on their journey.
  2. It's not all about food. I know we've all read and heard this many times, but the AIP diet is about a lot more than just eliminating some foods from your diet. It's even about more than adding in nutrient dense foods. I've discovered that within reason I can eat some non-AIP foods if I'm relaxed and getting enough sleep. I've had to get over people teasing me about going to bed at 9:30. It's ok if it means that tomorrow will be a good day with less pain. I've discovered that the perfect day starts at 9 o'clock the night before when I turn off the phone, ipad and TV and lay in bed and read before going to sleep.
  3. Offal isn't awful. I did not grow up eating organ meats, so when I starting hearing about the importance of eating them I was a little grossed out. But, I wanted the full benefits of AIP, so I decided to give them a try. I've learned that I'm not a big fan of pate (although I can handle it on plantain chips with something crunchy mixed in, like pomegranate seeds or chopped onions), but I do enjoy mixing liver into meatballs or burgers or mixed into chili or taco meat.
  4. Taking care of yourself is important. I am a driven person. I live by my schedule and usually have my time booked weeks in advance. I thrive on being busy. But, this year I've learned that there's nothing wrong with saying no and staying home to take an epsom salt bath. From what I've seen around the AIP-blogosphere, a lot of us tend to be driven people who take care of others first and rarely care for ourselves. It's ok to take care of yourself.
  5. Veggies for breakfast are great. I've never really liked the traditional breakfast foods. I always liked eating leftovers for breakfast (cold pizza and spaghetti were always favorites), but I've now discovered that I really enjoy starting the day with salad or soup chock full of veggies.
  6. Once you know your triggers stay away from them! - I've reintroduced a few things (like eggs and seed based spices). I want to try nuts and seeds, but haven't properly reintroduced them yet. One thing I've learned is that sugar and nightshades (at least tomato and peppers) will always be triggers. Within a few minutes of something with peppers in it all my joint are inflamed and when I have sugar I get pain in the left side of my neck (where I have scar tissue from a car accident years ago) that lasts about 24 hours and cravings for more sugar. Now I know what to expect and that reminds me to stay away.
  7. Always have a plan. - When the foods you can eat and feel good are limited, you really should avoid finding yourself in a desperate situation. Running through a drive through isn't really an option and there's only so many times you can eat a can of tuna and a handful of baby carrots. I've been known to eat a can of tuna on the grand canal in Venice (but that was my plan...I had just flown in that morning, had worked straight until heading to the airport and I knew I would need a lunch that would prevent me from eating pizza. Usually my plan involves batch cooking and carrying a lunchbox with me wherever I go. On Mondays for example I leave home at 7:30 am and het back around 9:30 pm, so that means packing lunch, dinner and a snack....today will be 'mushroom burger soup' for lunch 'lamb & veggie skillet' for dinner and some plantain chips and a plum in the afternoon.
  8. Never stop learning. - One of the greatest things about the growing AIP/ Paleo community is all the resources that are suddenly available. I think I follow about 20 blogs, plus listen to several pocdasts (Phoenix Helix and The Paleo View are my favorites). I also hang out on Instagram and on the AIP groups on facebook and get involved as much as I can. Learn something and pass it along to help others.
  9. I love food. - I also love creating new recipes. I kind of thought that a year in I'd run out of ideas and be showing you the same old stuff over and over, but buying new ingredients and playing with them and creating tasty dishes is fun. Tonight I made up 2 things that you may see on the blog some day - (1) zucchini stuffed meatballs and (2) cream of mushroom soup with ground beef and kale. I feel like since being AIP I've eaten a more diverse menu than before AIP...back in the days where I knew I could toss a can of tuna and some spinach into a bowl of gluten free pasta, so didn't have to plan.
  10. I love writing. - I didn't really just learn this over the course of the last year, but I've been reminded of it. As far back as I can remember I've enjoyed the written word - both reading and writing. I remember as a 10 year old writing children's stories for younger kids. More recently I've been writing lots for the kids in my church, but over the past year of writing this blog I've also started blogging for a children's ministry site and in my spare time have been working on some publishing proposals for some kid's stuff. Putting pen to paper....or these days fingers to keyboards...is a great stress release.