Disclosure: Post sponsored by Crock-Pot® brand slow cooker & Mirum Shopper, but all opinions are my own. Please see below for additional disclosure.
With the new year upon us, for many people this month is about a reset. This can take on so many different faces and applications, depending on the person. Working as a Nutritional Therapist and seeing clients, it is never my job to tell anyone what their diet should be. I work together with each of my clients to devise a plan and a course of action that works for them based on foundational nutritional information and of course, their own health needs. We are all bio-individuals who each need very different things. What I love so much about the work that I do, both here on the website and with my one-on-one nutrition clients, as well as when I am teaching yoga, is the distinct privilege I have in helping to empower people! To educate and provide them with the tools to make the very best choices for themselves, whatever that looks like for them and whatever they are ready for.
Whether it be in the kitchen with cooking, on the mat with their yoga practice or when it comes to making decisions about their health and their highly individualized path to healing, it’s an incredible honor that I never take lightly and am constantly beyond grateful for having the opportunity to share.
Guess what today is? Today is baby shower day! A bunch of us food bloggers got together and we are throwing a surprise virtual baby shower for our friend Emily of The Pig & Quill, who is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her first little piglet in the next month.
First off, I want to talk about how jealous I am of their new addition. I am pretty sure this is going to be the most well-fed little one, ever! That Emily sure knows her way around a kitchen and she doesn’t mess around when it comes to combining flavors and creativity in her recipes. When it came time to create a dish to bring to our little virtual gathering, I quickly realized that couldn’t just bring any ‘ol pink cupcake or some chips and dip, I had to step up, bring my A-game and get serious with my offerings. But, as you guys know I am still smack in the middle of an elimination diet (it was 10 weeks this past Friday, but who is counting) – so with lots of restrictions and true to the real life, selfishly I also wanted to bring something to this party that I could eat.
These delicious little bites are so simple to put together, they are so fresh and light and they are absolutely beautiful to top it off. Perfect for any party. I’ll be honest, the concept of this recipe came straight from me looking for a savory dish I could incorporate the color pink, given that Emily and Chris are expecting a girl! Though salmon isn’t exactly that pale baby girl pink color we all know, I still think I should get major bonus points on sticking with a theme! Thank you.
Hey all, Happy Monday to you! I am going to start off this post asking you to bear with me today as I get a bit off topic. Of course, you can always just feel free to just skip ahead to the recipe, while I rant. I have just had so much on my mind these past few weeks as I work my way through this elimination diet, as well as the several other transitional journeys I have found myself embarking on.
Something that has been weighing heavily on me is the idea of identifying yourself with certain traits or the things that you think make you, who you are. What we think people see when they look at us. Our ego. We all have many traits that we identify with. Maybe it’s your job or career path, maybe you are always the funny one in a group, maybe it’s you identifying with being quiet and shy or eating a certain way – whatever. With my diagnosis late last year of IgA Nephropathy, an autoimmune form of kidney disease and now being in the first rounds of this elimination diet, these together have caused me to challenge much of what I have always identified with.
Although I have had the restriction of gluten on my diet for over 10 years, I have still always identified with being a non-picky eater. For the most part I would try anything once (as long as it was safe), I was continuously up for checking out new restaurants and I was always happy to go with the flow of whatever food situation I was in, hanging with vegans, being around paleo folks and so on. I had gotten into a nice routine of knowing what was safe for me and how to communicate what I needed in a very clear and quiet way. Without passing judgement, I always truly felt bad for those that have a laundry list of restrictions (self imposed or otherwise), where going out to a restaurant or someone’s home becomes a hassle and every meal, a massive challenge. I have always been so grateful that beside the many, fairly simple, self-imposed restrictions I’ve put on my diet and of course, gluten – I would never ruin other people’s experience, I felt like I could keep it to myself and I could always find something I could eat, almost anywhere.
This elimination diet for me, which currently is no gluten (duh), meat, dairy, eggs and legumes, will continue to change and evolve as we work towards finding what might be affecting my kidneys. I now find myself having to have full blown interrogative-style conversations with servers at restaurants, grilling them about every single ingredient. Rather than a democracy, I basically have to tell whoever I am going out to eat with, where we are going, because my options are so limited. I walk the aisles of stores having to rethink what I used to buy and I now have to look at meal planning in a whole new way and sadly my husband is collateral damage to all of this. Though I have certainly been here before and for now, the extremity of the situation for me, is theoretically temporary, I also know for many of you this is normal, every day life! So, I hope you don’t confuse this as a complaint against dietary restrictions, but more I hope you take away the challenge in changing what we know, breaking habits and being forced to look beyond the outward of what we cling to.
Throughout this process, I have also found myself feeling vulnerable and weak, it took me forever to even be able to tell people about my diagnosis. I feel like people expect for me to be the picture of health, I am so careful and mindful about every single thing I consume, I talk a big game about how important it is to know where your food comes from, avoiding processed foods, opting to make things yourself and taking control of your health with your diet. Now somehow, here I am, the one diagnosed with kidney disease and battling a slew of random symptoms from taking a few rounds of pharmaceuticals. I have always prided myself on taking control of my health and avoiding crazy treatments or drugs and those closest to me could see the changes in my health from where it was before, to where it was after years of eating mindfully. So, you can imagine the discouragement I felt with this diagnosis. I truly felt like I had lost a sense of who I was.