Hello my friends. I am sure many of you have been wondering what happened. I quit my job and then…crickets. I am sorry about that. The easy response is to say it was the website redesign. I really wanted to do this bigger then before and try to take this blog to the next level. That isn’t untrue. As you can see it is quite different then it was a few months ago. I have spent quite a bit of time making the site easier to navigate with a new look and feel that I am quite proud of…but I told you I would always be honest with you. So here it is, deep breath… I got scared. I got scared of failing. I got scared of not having anything to say, or worse, scared that no one would care. I got scared that my photos weren’t at the level they should be and my recipes weren’t going to be enough. I let my insecurities pile up until I couldn’t move forward. I figured I could hide in being a wife and, hopefully, later a mother and started to let my dream slip away. Those old thoughts of self loathing and negativity began to creep back and I was stagnant. I started to think who would listen, why do this, the odds are against me, and so on and so forth. I continued to create recipes and to cook, as that is what I love, but I was feeling nervous about putting my whole self out to the world to see and maybe not like. I was reminded last week of a podcast that sums up why I started this and why I want to do it. I can’t remember her name, although I have been searching the Ted Radio Hour database to find it; when I do I will let you know. I can give you the gist, though. The woman was an author known for writing about her life. She answers her own question about why anyone would want to know about her life. Her realization is that everyone has a story that is worth telling as our transparency will have us finding more similarities, then differences, and that sense of loneliness would be harder to find. In a world where separation and alienation is rampant I want to remind you, and myself, that we all have worth, and that we are not alone.
I love food, but have struggled with how it fits into my life and that struggle has caused many bouts of depression and countless moments of insecurity. As I have learned to battle those feelings and learned the power of delicious, healthy food, that relationship has begun to mend. This process is something that I hope to share with all of you. So, after 3 months of this nervous making stay, I shall write my story and the foods that bring color and excitement to it. It’s time to take the leap with both feet. Here I type knowing this won’t be perfect, knowing the odds are against me and knowing I won’t please everyone. Coming from a perpetual people pleaser, this gives me anxiety, but I am ready to face my demons and put it all out there, to give you my lessons in hopes that you can gain something from it. It won’t always be pretty. This isn’t a blog about how my life was fixed when I lost weight. It’s a blog about how my life and myself continues to evolve as I try to better myself and learn from my mistakes.
I hope you will come with me on this journey. I can’t wait to get to know all of you a bit more and let you into my life.
There are a few changes since I last posted, you should know about. One of those things is that it turns out I am allergic to dairy. I have been having stomach issues for the past 2 years with no solution. I tried eating less raw vegetables and fruit and taking pills before I ate. I was eating as much of any probiotic filled thing I could find, nothing fixed it. I talked to my doctors countless times to explain why I had such stomach pains. It was like terrible cramps all around my lower abdomen and lower back, not to mention the bloating that had me looking 7 months pregnant in a matter of a few minutes. It was awful. My doctor, time and time again, asked me to eliminate dairy, just to see. I was reluctant. I like my cheese, yogurt, and especially ice cream and I didn’t want to deal with the possibility of never having those flavors or textures. Finally, it just got too bad. I could hardly get through lunch and constantly went to bed in pain, so I tried it. Dairy-free for a month, and you know what? The discomfort went away. I felt less sluggish, the bloating and pain disappeared and my periodic bouts of nauseas never came back. So, I am now dairy-free. This is not something I think you should do as a diet choice. Dairy has a lot of really wonderful nutritional benefits like the obvious calcium, but also tons of protein and really great probiotics to help your digestive system. In saying that, if you are experiencing discomfort like this, talk to your doctor about possibly being dairy intolerant. It may be your answer.
So here I was, knowing that dairy did not want to be my friend, but feeling like I had lost a partner. So I did what I always do, I started to research, looking into cheese alternatives that were not only dairy free, but also low in calorie and fat (the latter it turns out is harder to find then you would think), but I was able to find some products and play around with how they work with other ingredients. This recipe is the result of this. Who doesn’t enjoy cheese stuffed anything?! Not to mention, I love a good meatball with marinara. A meatball is like the original perfect bite sized food, giving you tons of flavor in one moment. The problem is that beef is often high in calorie and leaner options leave you disappointed with its dry crumbly texture.
This recipe fixes all of that. We start with ground chicken breast (don’t worry no dry texture here) and then add mushrooms and chickpeas. You heard me, chickpeas! Beans in a meatball?! Trust me, it works wonders!
The mushrooms deliver a wonderful savory mouthfeel with some added moisture. The chickpeas replace the traditional breadcrumb to bind the ingredients as well as adding some flavor and protein. Add that with the cheesy center and some fresh basil to brighten up the flavors and you have a winner! Jeff and I are addicted to these meatballs. They are seriously only one point per serving and have a whopping 33 grams of protein per serving. I always have them available as I make a large recipe and freeze half for easy lunches and meals throughout the week. I love to pair them with my Super Easy 10 Minute Marinara especially, when we have unexpected company or I need a quick appetizer. They have no idea that they are so healthy for you…and that they are dairy-free.
I want to be clear. Not all of my recipes will be dairy- free going forward, but they will all have a dairy-free option. Also note, that this recipe can easily be done with regular cheese, or even non-fat cheese. So make this to work with your lifestyle and let me know what you do. I love to hear about all of your creative ideas.
The moral of this long winded story? Don’t wait. Don’t let your nervousness get in your way of trying. This quote now sits on my desk ready to remind me of what I need to do today.
“Do one thing every day that scares you.” Eleanor Roosevelt
So here’s to doing something scary, and enjoying some meatballs. Happy Feasting Everyone!