If you had met me a few years ago, you would likely have discovered my abhorrence for all things cooking-related. Kitchens were a waste of space (although a coffee maker made them acceptable). Sure, I “knew how to cook” thanks to my lovely and patient mother, who taught me all the basics at a young age. Did I like cooking? I thought it was a waste of time and energy. So no.
Then I started a diet called the Paleo diet, as instructed by my MD. I knew right away I had to do this well, and do this right if there was a chance of it making a difference. I’ve been on many diets before but the Lyme disease had reached such a horrible stage, it was determined that going carb-free (and sugar free and dairy free) could drastically improve my symptoms and overall health.
It wasn’t easy at first, I cannot tell a lie. My time in the kitchen was not enjoyable and I struggled to find food that fit the restrictions yet tasted good. That is actually a tall order.
Fast forward a year or so. After losing 75 pounds and improving so dramatically (going from being bedridden to having good amounts of energy combined with significantly less pain), I was hooked on the Paleo lifestyle! And that is exactly what it has become too me: a lifestyle, not a diet. I plan to adhere to this lifestyle for the remainder of my days.
While working an average of 30 hours a week and looking after my dog, not to mention my health, I have managed to put in quite a few hours in the kitchen. Check out my “punchcard” below for hours spent cooking and baking:
September 2016: 40-45 hours
October 2016: 25-28 hours
(I was very sick this month but still managed to spend a good amount of time in the kitchen)
November 2016: 45-50 hours
December 2016: 60-65 hours
January 2017: 40-45 hours
Let’s break that down. Besides working a “real” job those months, I essentially employed myself on more than a full-time basis in the kitchen. That’s nearly 222 hours/5 months. If I had been getting paid, I would have made about $17000.00.
(That’s getting paid at a low rate, however; if you’re interested in the exact math and calculations based on experience, location and standard salaries in this field, message me).
Despite my new skills being worth a fair penny, I have not employed myself in order to pursue a career as a chef…although that might be fun! Worth more then a salary is the knowledge and skill to make meals that follow very strict guidelines while also tasting incredible. I have it on good authority from family, friends and co-workers that my food tastes good. Many were shocked to learn that they had just eaten something gluten/sugar/dairy free…and enjoyed it.
Here are a few more statistics you may find interesting:
In the past 5 months I’ve made approximately…
84 c. Soup
36 c. Applesauce
10 dozen Cookies
14 dozen Muffins
10 loaves of Banana Bread
5 types of Granola
5 types of Protein Bars
4 different paleo Dog Treats
15-20 other various Paleo desserts
In the past 5 months I’ve also learned to can…did I tell you about that?!? Another time.
For the majority of my time spent in the kitchen, I’m enjoying myself. Mostly I’m so grateful to have found food I enjoy that falls within strict guidelines. And my self-confidence has been undeniable boosted. Makes me believe in miracles!
For more information on the Paleo diet, check out these links:
Also, check out a few of my other recent blog posts: