Anyone out there wish they could lose 15 pounds? Wait, this is sounding like a spam message. Let me rephrase that. For several years now, I’ve wished I could lose 15 pounds. I wouldn’t consider myself to be obese. Just not as fit as I could be. In college I weighed 100 pounds. And I don’t think I want to weigh that little again. When I look back on those days I remember being very hungry. I also remember not having a functioning vehicle and walking everywhere. So without telling you exactly how much I weigh, I wish I could weigh somewhere between that and what I weigh now. And that would require losing 15 pounds. Why am I telling you this? Because it might help you to know how surprising it was for me to discover during my last pregnancy that I had gestational diabetes. Because who in the world doesn’t need to lose 15 pounds? All those people aren’t diabetic. I thought I had to be 50 or 100 pounds heavier to have that kind of trouble creep into my life. But I guess genetics had a different idea.
I only tell you about this because it was really kind of life changing in the way I started thinking about food. It helped that eating bad food would not just hurt me, but my baby, too. It made me pretty serious about doing the right thing whenever I thought about eating anything at all. At first it was stressful. I had to count carbohydrate grams and read a lot of labels and learn about protein and fiber and eat huge amounts of salad. It takes a lot of salad to have enough calories to feed a growing baby. Pretty soon, though, I learned about a lot of things I liked, and I realized there was something kind of beautiful about making every calorie or carb matter.
Now that I am not pregnant or diabetic anymore, I can eat something sweet once in a while. But I’ll probably never eat a Twinkie or a package of M&M’s or sit down in front of the television with a sleeve of Oreos. If I’m going to eat something with a lot of calories and sugar, it better be so freaking amazing that it will be something worth waiting for, since I don’t really want to eat those kinds of things every day. I still need to be careful since I am at risk for diabetes for the rest of my life. The funny thing is that I really love to bake. That hasn’t changed a bit. When I bake an amazing cake, I try and take a small piece and then share as much of the rest of it as I possibly can. If it looks like there is a lot leftover and nobody wants it anymore, I throw it away. Just for kicks, here is my very favorite cake recipe in all the world. It never, I repeat never ends up getting thrown away. Carrot Cake!!!
And really, the better thing to do if I want something sweet is to eat a handful of grapes or berries, or have a Greek yogurt. I’ve discovered that all those ready made sugar free snacks are really just as big of a waste as their sugar packed shelf mates. And even yuckier.
If I’m being particularly carb conscious, I avoid potatoes and bread. Today, that was my plan, since I overdid it a little on birthday cake yesterday. It WAS my birthday…Anyway, I was surprised when my husband was making breakfast for dinner today and decided to make me some hash browns out of sweet potatoes. I was worried I wouldn’t like them as much as regular hash browns and that I’d wish I could have the real thing. But these were honestly the most delicious hash browns I’ve ever had! He fried them in pure coconut oil and they were amazing. Basically, he’s a rock star. Here’s a photo. What a treat when something relatively good for you is also delicious!
Why am I blogging about this? It’s been on my mind to set a goal to look at a lot of other things in my life the same way. I try to never just sit in front of the television without knowing exactly which show I want to watch, and then I try to turn it off right when it’s done. But can I say the same about the internet? I surf too much. Counting minutes and hours should be more like counting calories. I should make them all count. Make them all delicious. Not do things with them that would deprive myself or others around me of kindness, love, or enrichment, even if that just means taking a good nap instead of scanning every new facebook post.
The other night I filled up about 150 delicious minutes by playing music with my friends from Lincoln Highway, a local bluegrass/folk group. A few of the members have played on a lot of my recordings, and I’ve played a lot with them live. It had been ages since we had played my song, Pilgrim Go! (you have to include the exclamation point) and when we fired that one up, it really filled my heart with delight and brought back a lot of memories of what it means to have the fire of creativity and pure joy when you create and share with others. It is one of my favorite songs I have written. And I think it kind of goes along with all of this. I originally wrote it for a film that never really was released. But it has kind of been one of the theme songs of my life. “You must go and take your chances. Go take all the midnight dances…” I’m trying to figure out what that means to me right now, as a mom who still has a lot of dreams. I may not really go dancing at midnight that much, but I want to make some other magic with every delicious minute of my life. And like the carrot cake, I want to share it with the people I love most of all.
Click here to hear the song. Pilgrim Go! It’s originally from my album, Heart Made of Wind.
And come hear me play a fun show at the Central Utah Conservancy Gardens in Orem, Utah with Lincoln Highway on June 14! Go over to the events page for more info on that.