You know that cookie-cutter “plan” that every young adult is expected to go through in their 20’s: go to college, get a job, get married and buy a house. Well I did things backwards: I bought a house, got married, quit my job and then went to college. It’s definitely not the same experience as the former, especially when you’re in your late twenties in a classroom full of young’ns who just left their mother’s nest, and it definitely changes you, inside and out.
In 2010, I started this blog when I purchased my first DSLR and really enjoyed taking photos of the meals I was cooking. The difference between photographing food and photographing people, is that you can control the food (and then you can eat it afterwards). I had this big kitchen in this beautiful house in the middle of nowhere and maximized the shit out of it for my blog. Then, of course, my decision to quit my job and go back school left me with minimal free-time so I had to say good-bye to The Sleepy Kitchen.
When I transferred to what is known as one of the best schools in the world (not my words), I thought my admiration for academia would rise to another level, except it did just the opposite and literally broke me. I spent eight months dealing with anxiety, crying spells, depression, panic attacks, heart palpitations and worse of all a binge eating disorder. Eight months after I started school, I went through a very very very stressful move out of our beautiful first home in the farmland of the valley, and moved into a small, dark (but decent) home east of the San Francisco Bay. The move was the best, the right, the ideal decision for the both of us, but when close-of-escrow landed on the day I had two finals and three papers due, that sort of thing fucks you up. And it fucked me up. Bad.
I was finally at ease when we were settled in, thus I began to take notice of my health issues and decided it was time to take care of it. I reached out to my doctors at the big corporate HMO medical company and all I got was a questionnaires to fill out, bottles of unwanted anti-depressants, and a useless advice of “maybe you just need to exercise more.” I even reached out to my school’s health center seeking psychiatric services but the therapist I was paired with basically traumatized my first therapy experience. I said eff it until the new year.
Come February 2016, I was set to meet a doctor at a holistic medicine practice in Oakland. In that same month, I was admitted to the ER for being tachycardic out of no where (I picked up Heart of Darkness and that’s when I found myself on the floor unable to move), I had no appetite and threw up everything I attempted to eat, I had an irritable bowel after every beverage, including water, my weight was going up, and my moods were on a roller coaster fueled by a nitrous oxide engine. Luckily, my new doctor seemed to have all the answers. After a series of tests and an elimination diet, my diagnosis put me at ease. Since then, I have cut out gluten, soy, added and processed sugars and most dairy from my diet. Trying to keep my meals fun, I went back to taking photos and posting them on my personal Instagram account. I also began following others who embraced similar lifestyles of eating whole, organic, real foods. It wasn’t until this change where I realized how close our mental and physical health was linked to nutrition. To some people, this is voodoo, but to me it’s a life saver.
I have been praised and suggested by many to take my meals (and the photos I take of them) to another platform but I don’t want to spend hours out of my day putting together recipes, cooking them to perfection and literally giving each dish a photo shoot with my DSLR. I would rather use that time to go outside with my dogs, swim at the gym, spend time with my friends, admire some Zadie Smith texts or water my succulents and house plants. That brings me to the end of my introduction. Welcome to my blog where I cook food that’s good for my health and take pictures of it with my phone. Stick around!