So yesterday evening, I shared a photo on my Instagram of our at home date night dinner. One that I wouldn’t usually post because – gasp! – there was a POTATO in it! Yes! A totally non AIP tuber! Now before you all freak out over potential foodie fraud, that’s not the direction this is going. But, as I said, I wouldn’t usually share a photo of something that wasn’t AIP, since I usually assume that the people who follow me on social media or here on the blog chiefly do so for the AIP inspiration.
But this photo and the little story that I tapped out speedily before my steak coma set in did have a relevance to my AIP experience, nightshades notwithstanding. So here’s what I posted:
“Date night! Because, steak ? Mr M eats all AIP with me at home 99% of the time… not because he needs to, but just because it makes my life easier.
However, he came home from a rare solo grocery store trip looking particularly shifty the other day, so I wondered what little surprise I’d find in those bags… eventually he pulled out something from a bag with all the glee of a toddler who’s just gotten away with something and held aloft this giant potato as though it were a new member of the pride ?
And so, I baked him a potato the size of my face as part of our steak dinner. He was a very, very happy man because (a) Giant Potato of Yayness and (b) he forgoes potatoes usually not because they affect him (they don’t) but because it’s easier for me if he doesn’t need separate foods. And (c) let’s face it: baked potatoes are delicious.
I found myself reflecting on how differently this scenario would have turned out a few years ago. He’s a grown man and I let him make his own dietary decisions, but he’s learned so much about what works for him, too, as I’ve travelled my own healing journey. A few years ago, his grocery store surprise would have been processed food and candy… now it’s a potato ? So don’t underestimate how much you’re teaching the people around you, too! ??”
If I hadn’t posted this non AIP food to my feed, I would never have passed on that cool little lesson: that the people around us are listening, even if we’re only speaking through our actions, passion and experiences. You might be the single person in your home on a healing diet, but you’re definitely not the only person who might be learning from it. How cool is that? Which made me realize something for myself: a lesson from the lesson, if you will! I think too much. I hesitate too much. I agonize over words here on the blog (and social media) when they used to be something I took comfort in and enjoyed exploring. Writing that little IG post was totally liberating because it reminded me how fun it is to BE MYSELF. You know, when I stop worrying about what people will think. Of me, of my food, of my choices. (That negative internal voice of mine needs a punch in the face).
I looked back at that little post and finally saw myself reflected in my social media, sans selfie. I’m lighthearted, irreverent and use too many emojis. I speak sarcasm as a second language, but cry over Disney movies that I use as similes. I fully appreciate a good word-nerd-session and have been described by friends as a “human word of the day calendar” and think that’s kind of cool. I listen to ridiculous things like video game soundtracks played on strings. I despise smoothie bowls, no matter how “on trend” they are (were? who knows!). Don’t even get me started on detoxes, we’ll be here hours.
I show my love through the food I share with the people around me, whether in person or on this blog. I will drop anything for a friend, to the point of staging an international rescue. Giving up my obnoxious hair color(s) and piercings ain’t ever going to happen. And I’m a really lucky bitch because I get to share my life with someone who puts up with the fact that helping himself to something from the fridge is basically a game of marital roulette and who genuinely gets excited when I bake him a goddamn potato. (For the record: he loses if I needed that shrimp / dip / meatball for a photo or post). Life is good. I’m a little nutsy. And I should share that more often. With myself, with my friends and with the people who are crazy or kind enough to follow me here. Because without you guys, I’d be talking to myself, anyways.
Wow, that all got a little deep for a post-Instagram-epiphany, huh?
The short version: it’s time for me to be more me.
That doesn’t mean I’m going to start telling you what to wear or try to flog you an affiliate product I don’t really believe in every time I come within three feet of wifi. It doesn’t mean that anything is going to change here in terms of the food I make or the things I recommend (there’s definitely not going to be a “surprise, I’m going vegan!” reveal at the end). It just means that I’m going to be more present. Be more real. Worry less about people pleasing or if using that perfect, difficult to pronounce word that I love makes me sound pretentious. Let you guys in a little more. Show that there’s more to me than the AIP.
(Don’t worry, I’m not going to start pimping “paleo” pop tarts. I still think those things are bullshit).
I jokingly dub this: Operation Be More Me. Because I’m a nerd like that. I have a feeling it’s the beginning of something great, even if it scares the pants outta me. Probably because it makes me metaphorically pantaloons-less. Those trews were weighing me down, anyway. I’m not scared of losing people any more: I’m excited to meet MY people.
Apparently, they’re probably all on #TeamNoPants, anyways!
Praise the potato! Bahahaha!
Love this! In my 9-5 world of marketing we often give people the opportunity to self-opt out if they’re not totally into what we’re offering, that way we know the folks who stick around are 100% with us. I’m 100% with ya girl!
Totally! I think with blogging, we’re so fearful of “missing out” or “losing” people, but really that’s illogical: at the heart of what we do is CONNECTING with people, so if I’m not doing that, is there really any point? What’s the purpose of holding onto people just for the sake of numbers? I’m letting go of that mentality and just… being me. And it feels great 🙂 Big hugs to you!
I like this. Real life is not perfect meal plans. Perfect is over-rated. Honestly some blogs I have quit reading because they are too perfect!
Exactly, Andi! Real life is messy. And that’s part of what makes it so glorious 🙂 I don’t want to be the sort of person who perpetuates this idea of unattainable perfection, in the kitchen or elsewhere. I don’t think that does anything except contribute to the negative media that makes women feel like they’re not “good enough”, you know?
You seem to have been unfolding the layers to you in your writing lately. And I like it! I like the ‘real’ Rach way better than your bloggy ‘appearance’. Go you!
Thank you! You’re totally right, I have been trying to bring more “me” into my writing — it’s hard because although this blog has been here for years, when it comes to writing anything other than recipe instructions, I’m really rusty! But I’ve been enjoying it so much that I just went for the full rip-off-the-band-aid approach this week. I figure life is too short to be self censoring out of fear, you know? I’d rather have this place be somewhere that connections happen, as well as food. And if people don’t like it, that’s ok, too. Having a book out in the world has taught me a lot over the last year: chiefly that there’s no pleasing everybody!
Rachael, I am SO with you… this is an awesome post. 🙂
Thank you, Mickey! It felt good 🙂
I had no idea all of this about you, I love love your unveiling!! OMG the paleo pop tarts statement had me on the floor, literally, my son came in and said what’s wrong. I said nothing, someone is finally saying it!!!!!
Hahahaha! I just had to get it out – it feels pretty darn good! 🙂
I’m pretty sure you using the words pantaloons just upped your awesome level in my mind ten times over.
Hahaha! It is such a fun word! 🙂