My Food Story – Behind the Scenes of a Foodie Life

You know all those posts popping up online that show you the reality behind Instagram photos? {hashtag #authentic #keepingitreal}.  Well, I think it’s time that I come clean and tell you what’s been going on in this ‘sort of foodie’s’ kitchen since June of this year. Hint number one: it’s not a lot of home cooking. 

Before I actually break down the current kitchen dilemma I’m dealing with, and share my crazy idea disguised as a solution, I feel that I should share my food story as my defense. So here it is; my experiences with food over the last 34 years. 

pink chai baby pics{For your viewing pleasure, some pics of me as a baby – clearly there were no digital cameras in 1980/81. Also, bottom right, not my sibling & I’m not sure who it is! }

0-20 years…
Ate everything my mom, bibi, and various aunties cooked. (Food made by aunties was obviously only consumed at events, parties, etc.) Around the age of 15 I learned to make noodles, and defrost perogies in a microwave. {Ironically I gave up using microwaves about 7 years ago because they freak me out}. Also ate a gross amount of McDonald’s from the age of 13-16 because both my older sisters worked there and provided the goods. Somehow learned to make killer chai. {Yes, I’m going to boast about that forever.}

Got married with pretty much zero cooking skills. Thankfully we lived with my in-laws that year and my MIL is a fabulous cook. I attempted to cook basic “meals” like pasta from a box and sauce from a can, or chicken tacos with serious help from Old El Paso, but no one was really leaping for seconds of my cooking. 

21-23 years…
Hubby and I moved out on our own. We’ll just call these the fast food and chain restaurants years.

23-30 years…
These were the cooking from a box and processed food years. I had my first child at 23 and really wanted to be a good mom and learn to cook – enter; mac & cheese (from a box), hamburger helper (no hamburger), and frozen chicken nuggets. I cringe when I think about how uneducated I was about food, and actually thought I was “cooking”.

pink chai instagram

{Kitchen experiments – from my Instagram feed}

30-33 years…
This is when my love affair with cooking (especially Indian food), fresh vegetables, and exotic spices really began. Like all great love stories, my food affair began with a tragedy; we had no money. We went through a period of time a few years ago where money was so tight that I was actually scared for the welfare of my children, and had no choice but to learn to cook from fresh ingredients {I strongly feel people on a budget need to be taught to cook}. As the expression goes, necessity is the mother of invention – and I started inventing in my little kitchen. All those experiments in budget cooking lit a passion for cooking in me that I never knew was there.

Shortly after I started feeling comfortable in the kitchen, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease and put on a gluten free diet. At first I was devastated and in denial, then I started to recreate my new favourites minus wheat – the passion was back! My Instagram feed filled up with new dishes daily, and I started creating recipes for the blog, and for my family – my kids loved my cooking & I was finally that mom I wanted to be all those years ago. 

This year…
2014 has been the most successful year of my professional life ever. Our little business is bursting at the seems, we’ve started hiring team members, and even this blog baby of mine is getting attention from brands and readers alike. But I’ve been hiding a dirty little secret since June…I’ve been cheating on my gluten free diet a lot! We’ve also resorted to eating out 3-4 times a week (mostly at lunch because we are too busy working to make something), and worst of all; sometimes when we are shooting recipes/food photos for the blog, we order in meals because my kitchen is taken over by camera equipment and there is no space to cook! {I was also so unprepared for taking a road trip and eating gluten free so those two weeks were a mess}.

Like many of my rambling {and long winded} posts, this is more about me having a stern talk with myself than sharing with you guys. However, I hope this post will help you take some pressure and guilt off yourself, We all go through busy seasons in our life and we just need to accept that, reboot, and start again. That’s what I’m doing in 2015 {holy cow, can you believe it’s almost here!}

So what now?
I haven’t formulated an entire plan yet (when I do I will share), but this is what I do know; when I set my marketing and business goals for next year, I’m also setting food goals. Some of the things on my mind are – a maximum number of eating out days in a week, scheduled freezer filling days, monthly baking days, maybe arranging a food swap or group cooking day with some friends?

Rather than stressing about what I didn’t do, I’m focusing on what I’m going to do! {I think this could be my mantra for every part of my life next year}. If you have any tips for me, please do share in the comments section, I love to hear from you smart people.



    • December 9, 2014 / 4:49 pm

      Yeah – I’ll get on organizing that!

  1. Melanie
    December 9, 2014 / 7:02 pm

    I here you on lacking money forcing you to become a better cook. I’m a little in love with Jamie Oliver right now 🙂 I’d be up for some food swapping. That’s a great idea!

    • December 9, 2014 / 9:40 pm

      I love Jamie Oliver! Also I will definitely email you about the food swap 🙂

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