The GalaKitchen is not just about cooking and recipes, but rather the way we incorporate food into our life; how our food choices are really part and parcel of a much bigger lifestyle. There are many times we get stopped by people we know who ask us how is it that we can cook and prepare all this wonderful food, write blog posts about it every week, and feed our family so well while still staying vibrant and healthy and having the time and energy to enjoy all the other good things in life. That actually, is really what The GalaKitchen is all about…
It’s a fallacy that if you are vegetarian (or vegan) you are automatically healthy. I was always chubby as a child and overweight as a teenager. I was raised as a vegetarian and have faithfully remained so but I always ate copious amounts of food, both healthy and not. I loved fruit and veggies and lived on grains, lots of milk, cheese, chips and any and all desserts… I tried putting myself on rigid diets (and running miles on the treadmill) and although I made some progress I was still far from being healthy, fit and energetic… It was only after getting married that I effortlessly dropped the additional 30 or so pounds and slipped into a size 0 dress, all while enjoying the food I love and not for one moment feeling deprived of anything… My husband, it turns out, unknowingly taught me how…
In the Gala house we don’t diet, we don’t even like the word “diet”, and we don’t spend hours and hours panting in the gym. We don’t run for miles (anymore), we don’t get on the elliptical, and we don’t lift ridiculous amounts of free weights. We find an activity we love (walking, tennis, road biking, yoga…) and make sure we do it with pleasure as often as we can… We don’t believe in restriction, and although we eat mostly whole foods vegan, on occasion we enjoy a slice of rich dark chocolate cake and a glass of good wine with great enthusiasm.
So let’s talk a little about the GalaLiving Girl (or Boy, of course)”…
When deciding what to eat, she makes sure it’s something she is truly hungry for and actually really wants to eat. It’s always fresh, high-quality food – never highly processed food – prepared quickly to meet her standards. And it’s varied. She’s interested in exploring the wonderful world of food. She likes to eat seasonal, and local. She loves the sweetness of ripe strawberries and fresh salads in the summer and root vegetables in the winter. She loves creamy, warm and satisfying soups using simple ingredients like some squash, leeks and thyme in the fall; both because of the way it tastes and the way it makes her feel and look… And while she doesn’t eat pounds of Ben and Jerry’s straight from the tub, she enjoys a couple squares of Theo’s pure organic dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt to satisfy her sweet tooth.
If it takes time to make a meal or snack, she’ll invest the time. But that doesn’t mean all her meals and snacks require hours in the kitchen. She knows that sometimes a brown rice tortilla wrap with good quality hummus topped with sliced carrots, cucumbers and avocados, and a juicy piece of fresh, seasonal fruit is all she needs to satisfy her hunger.
As she eats, she savors. Her food has her attention; she enjoys the taste, eating enough until she feels satisfied. Then she’s done with eating, getting on with other things in life that are important to her. Which may mean having tea with a friend, preparing for a future meal, working on her blog or something that has nothing at all to do with food (like reading a good book, playing a sport, shopping for the kids, or doing yoga to renew her spirit and make her body feel good!)
You could also call this girl a mindful eater. It means she is a little bit fussy and does not settle for second best. Food preparation and enjoyment is a creative outlet for her, it allows her to nurture herself and her family, and preparing it is an enjoyable process for her.
Sure, she has a tendency to eat unhealthy at times, or lapse in how much care she takes with where her food comes from and how it is prepared. But, that’s where her sense of balance comes in – she immediately corrects and protects her relationship with food; always returning to fresh, high quality ingredients in her cooking. She knows that the most important thing when it comes to eating is using the best high quality ingredients and keeping it as close to nature as possible.
She eats mindfully, enjoys the natural quality of the food she eats… She drinks water, herbal teas, fresh squeezed juices and smoothies, and no more than the occasional glass of wine. Usually, she enjoys fruit or smoothies for breakfast, but once in a while even has tea and oatmeal. She never touches sodas, diet or regular. She always eats full-fat, not low-fat because she knows that if she eats a little of what she truly enjoys she will always stay vibrant and healthy. She knows she can simultaneously enjoy good food and good times with her family and friends and still feel nourished and beautiful.
At GalaLiving, we truly believe that everyone can be a lover of food and at the same time enjoy a healthy and vibrant lifestyle. With a sensible and enjoyable relationship with food we can all learn to thrive and live life simultaneously with enjoyment and satisfaction.