Recently I was asked to guest post over at Tasty Table Topics and wanted to share that post here as well! Few thoughts on my nutrition journey and of course, a recipe to go with it!
Growing up on a farm in central Illinois, I was raised on a "meat and potatoes" mentality of eating. When the family would sit down for dinner each night, it was expected of us to finish all of our food on our plates and drink a whole glass of milk... even though I detested milk. It wasn't that we necessarily ate poorly, as my mother cooked us a lot of great meals with healthy veggies or grains in them, but the overall view of our diets was mainly focused on meat, lots of meat.
As a student athlete I rarely thought about nutrition or the way I ate. All I knew was that I was hungry all the time and tried to consume as much food as possible. One of my best friends first memory of us eating in our college cafeteria was my huge platters of food and in particular a gross looking overcooked brat that I was so excited to eat. This was how I was known for a majority of my life - for eating unhealthy and being the "garbage disposal."
It wasn't until I graduated from college and began my journey training for marathons that I started to consider my diet - what was I putting into my body? Over that year, I slowly started adjusting my diet towards eating more veggies, fruits, and whole grains. I consumed less meat and diary. It wasn't instantaneous, but I began to feel good... really good. As my training increased, so did my thirst for staying healthy. I loved learning about new foods, how to cook these new foods, and where these foods came from.
So in 2010 I decided to become vegetarian and since then my husband and I have moved to eating a mostly vegan fare. It wasn't easy at first as it took some time to figure out new meals for two very hungry athletes, but we strongly believe it has improved our mental and physical health tremendously.
My journey isn't for everyone, but I do think that knowing more about your food, health, and body is something that a person of any diet lifestyle should be heavily invested in. You only have one body, so make sure you take care of it!
Classic Hummus Dip
2 cups chickpeas, cooked
2 garlic cloves
3/4 cup tahini paste
5 TB lemon juice
3 TB water (or leftover chickpea juice)
1 tsp salt
olive oil, for garnish
paprika, for garnish
Put all ingredients (minus salt, olive oil, and paprika) in a food processor or high speed blender. Add salt slowly in, tasting for preference. Scoop out and put in container. Drizzle olive oil on top and lightly season with paprika. If you have any leftover chickpeas, throw those on top as well!