Back in the Kitchen

Recovery. I feel quite awkward about using that word, honestly. And using it about myself conjures up a myriad of reactions within me. And what do I need to recover from? An actual eating disorder? Or simply long-term habits of restrictive eating and over-exercising? I have an idea... but I am not a doctor, so I really don't know for sure. And I don't like labels anyway.

What I do know is that I am excited to begin including a *much* wider variety of delicious plant-based vegan foods in my eating plan again. To get back to lots of cooking and baking and recipe making and experimenting in the kitchen. And just in time for the holidays, too! {smile}

Awhile ago, I introduced you to my version of plant-based eating and cooking. Over on my Run Hoop Julie blog, I told you what I eat. I went back and read those posts again to see if I needed to perhaps update those thoughts as I tweak my fitness habits... but I don't think I do. And I don't need to recover from being vegan because *that* choice is an enormous blessing and nothing that requires recovering from.

Choosing to *not* eat or use animal products as much as possible is a very good thing, I think. I stand by my choice to be vegan as I work to overcome my tendency to under-eat and over-exercise. In my life, one has nothing to do with the other... my fitness struggles began many years before I went vegan.

I do plan to relax my standards within the boundaries of veganism a bit. I think it is wise for me to have fewer food rules for myself, and to break the habit of calculating calories. And those choices may affect my recipes a bit.

Most of my plant-based recipes will still contain little-to-no sugar, cooking oil, soy, or salt. That is the way I usually make things and prefer to eat. But I am giving myself permission and freedom to use and eat a little sugar sometimes, or perhaps a bit of coconut oil in an occasional recipe.

Maybe even an occasional package of vegan "cheese" or plant-based "sour cream." Yummy things, those. {smile}

I've never been one to use a lot of packaged foods, but I don't see the harm in using them upon occasion. It is one way I hope to lose some of the personal rules I have put on my own eating habits and find the joy of food once again... while staying true to my vegan convictions.

So I'm not planning on actual changes in the kinds of recipes I share with you... but perhaps some modifications as I experiment with letting go of my self-imposed restrictions. Who makes the rules around here anyway, right? And there will be plenty of vegan yummy-ness, I promise.

Food is part of everybody's everyday life. Around here, it is one of the ways I show love to and take care of my family. And myself. What we eat is also an important part of every tradition and celebration I can think of, it brings us together. Food nourishes our bodies *and* our souls.

I am glad to be back in the kitchen.

Update: I am no longer vegan and I don't have *any* food rules or restrictions for myself. 😄
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