A few months ago I promised myself that I wouldn’t become too busy or distracted this summer to keep up with the yum project. However, lo and behold, of course I never had a moment to spare and I now find myself enjoying the first beautiful autumn day with a camera full of appetizing photos that have not yet made their debut on the worldwide web. I am so frustrated with myself! I have stories and pictures from as long ago as memorial weekend. It is a daunting task to think about how much updating I have to do but I promise that I will get it done in the months ahead! I am feeling dedicated and productive now that I am getting into the groove of my new routine. It is a new school year with new endeavors, adventures, and meals to make!
A lot has happened in the last few months. I will have to touch more on it later but one of the big events of the summer was an experiment that I embarked upon. Since I have been interested in food studies, I have come across information time and time again on people who claim to have cured themselves of terminal illnesses by a change in their diet. I myself have had a mysterious kidney condition for the last six years and have tried just about every wacky treatment that multiple doctors have forced on me only to find my situation unchanged. This spring I finally decided to dedicate myself to this theory that food alone can allow the body to heal itself. I went into my experiment with low expectations and the thought that if this diet actually worked, illnesses such as cancer or cardiovascular disease would not be so prevalent. Nevertheless, for two months I cut out almost all land animal by-products, (with the exception of chicken stock, low-fat Greek yogurt, the occasional hard boiled egg or a sprinkle of feta/parmesan) all processed foods, and most grains. My diet consisted largely of fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish. Breakfast was often a large plate of mixed fruit with a side of Greek yogurt for protein, a glass of water, a cup of herbal tea, and a fresh squeezed orange/grapefruit juice. Lunch would consist of as many vegetables as I could eat. During the day I snacked on nuts and dinner was often fish, more vegetables, and a homemade soup. I have a portion control problem but I did really well with these foods because I could virtually eat as many vegetables as I wanted. Additionally, water was crucial. I drank water all day long and cut out every other beverage besides herbal tea. To compliment my healthy meals I also picked up daily yoga and biked most places in lieu of driving. Before long I realized that my insomnia issues were not nearly as bad yet I felt energized all day. When I ate I would feel satisfied instead of heavy or bloated. Even my cravings changed. A banana became the ultimate luxuriously sweet treat, while lemon was the perfect flavoring as opposed to butter. I remember one day I was hungry at work and all they had was bread and butter. Even though I only ate one bite, I could not get the greasy taste of animal fat out of my mouth for hours afterward. One night I had steak for dinner and was shocked that I felt heavy, exhausted, and sluggish for three whole days afterwards.
Finally it was the day to run blood work with my kidney specialist. It was the moment when I would find out if all my research, dedication and hard work had actually impacted my health. To both my doctor and my complete astonishment, my condition was almost completely gone in just two months. For six years of my life I had unchanging statistics, but I almost completely healed myself in sixty days.
I can speak more on health later. After that day I retuned to New York City for the rest of the summer and got a job bartending by Columbia University. I had a wonderful month working hard and exploring the city on my own. I felt very independent and really enjoyed settling into my first apartment. Two weeks ago I began classes and I am especially excited to be taking both molecular gastronomy as well as a “food and film” course. The last big development in my life happened just this last week when I got a phone call offering me an editorial internship at The Food Network! I cannot put into words how utterly excited I am to begin this internship next week. I am so thankful for the opportunity. I have dreamed about this for my entire life and I cannot believe that I am getting that much closer to making my ambitions a reality!
It is now time to conclude this long rant that still hardly begins to describe my summer. From now on I will alternate between uploading experiences and meals that I create in the present and meals that I had this summer. Since I have been in New York again I have been slacking on the healthy eating but I am working hard at getting back in the zone! I look forward to what is promising to be the most exciting year of my life yet and I hope that you enjoy following me on my journey.