Hi, I'm Téo. I'm a twenty-some year-old student (but not for much longer!!) from Montréal, Québec. I started this blog because I am often asked for advice about eating clean in Montréal. Where and how to shop, how to substitute this for that, what to read, what to avoid and how not to miss it...Although there are many, many great food blogs out there and countless resources on the internet, the solutions to clean eating are highly local. It's great to hear about a wonderful product (coconut yogurt, I'm looking at you!), but if it's not sold anywhere here, it gets pretty discouraging. It can also be frustrating to find the food blogosphere lighting up about asparagus, sweet peas and strawberries in March, on your way outside to dig out your car...
So I promise to try my hardest to make root vegetables interesting long after you can't stand to look at them anymore, if only to distract you from those lucky Californians and Floridians and Seattlites and, well, pretty much everyone else, really. No, I'm kidding. Montréal is an amazing place to eat. And root vegetables are very good for you.
So why me? Well, first, I am not an expert. And second, I am not an expert. I didn't study nutrition, I am not a trained cook, I've never even worked in the service industry. I love to cook, I read lots about food and I'm happy to experiment. This blog is a place to keep my recipes, yes, but is mostly meant to share my food-related discoveries, so that you don't have to read about it or try it yourself. It's a jump-off point, given a few foundational principles about food and well-being, to discovering the best way to eat.
For you. Because a cornerstone of my food philosophy is that there is no right way to eat. Generally, yes, it's a good idea to eat local, mostly raw, whole foods, organic if possible, and fast periodically. And, yes, there are common allergens, which are likely to trigger inflammation and inhibit digestion, with serious long-term effects. But it's very rare to find someone sensitive to all, or even many, of the common allergens. A sensitivity to one, if unheeded, is likely to lead to increased sensitivity to the others, and to food in general. Finding and eliminating (or severely restricting) the problem food (or food group), in most cases, relieves what seemed like a broad sensitivity. The large majority of people with symptoms of food intolerance can eat the majority of common allergens without a problem.
Take me, for example. I can't tolerate dairy (save some butter now and then) and I know that I do much better if I stay away from wheat. But my body loves corn, eggs, citrus, nuts and night shade vegetables. I'm not crazy about soy, mostly because it's a pesticide-incentive crop and contains phytoestrogen, but I'll have some tofu and some store-bought cookies every once in a while.
Every once in a while, another cornerstone of my food philosophy. I believe that if you watch what you eat most of the time, you don't have to all of the time. If you take the time to figure out how best to feed yourself, and do so the large majority of the time, you'll find that the occasional indulgence or slip up won't cost you. Well-maintained and well-treated, your system will deal with the occasional curve ball like it ain't no thing. Your body is extremely well-made. It should take far more than a piece of lasagna to put it out of commission.
Finally, I believe in food as a social activity and an extremely important aspect of human connection. Cooking is about feeding people and sharing a meal. You should feed yourself well is so that you are present and engaged for your family and friends...and so you can enjoy a meal with them. I focus on food that is enjoyable to those around me, whether they follow a special diet or not, in the hope that they'll find joy sitting at my table.
So...I think you should find what works for you and stick with it, but every once in awhile you should throw caution to the wind and share a baguette and some brie with a friend, tell a story over a gooey slice of cake and a latté, or grab some Thai Express on your way home from a long day. And when you do, you can trust your body to do its work and savour each and every bite.
In other words....eat joyfully!