I’m Amelia, and this is my virtual cookbook! My journey up to this point has been …well… super circuitous, so you’re gonna have to bear with me on this one.
I’m pretty sure I’ve always been obsessed with food and cooking.
When I was 8, I told my parents I wanted to make my own lunches from there on out, and I have. (Mum was stoked!) I spent 30 minutes every Friday planning out the food I wanted to eat for lunch the next week. I would put it on the shopping list, and go out to the St. Lawrence Market with my Dad on Saturday mornings. Fast forward 20 years, and I’m doing the exact same thing… except I plan my lunches on Wednesdays and go shopping on Friday and Saturday.
Within those 20 years, I’ve done a lot. Yet, despite getting two degrees, the first jobs I’ve been drawn to after years of sitting, reading, and writing endless papers were those in the food industry; an area where I can think outside the box, create new (and tasty) things and, most importantly, STAND UP! Indeed, in the year between graduating from my undergrad and beginning my first master’s, I worked as a sous chef/patissière in a bistro in Toronto. Upon graduating from my first master’s (and realizing there are no jobs in forensics in Canada), I worked as a baker at Toronto’s former Moo Milk Bar for another year. (For those of you who haven’t heard of Moo Milk Bar, it was a milk and cookies bakery which made THE BEST cookies on the planet!)
Fast forward another couple of years to January 2015, and you’ll find me working full-time as as a CrossFit coach and gym administrator. On top of that, I was also working as a tutor, training 8-10 hours/week, doing an online physiology course as a pre-requisite for physiotherapy programs, actually applying to physio programs and…oh yea…trying to maintain a social life. Phew..that was a mouthful.
Not totally unsurprisingly (I guess…), my immune system decided it had had enough of my shenanigans and decided to let me know it; patently. After a few months of having hands so itchy I had to put them in the freezer at 3 am to be able to go back to sleep, I decided to do a few tests to figure out what the heck was irritating them. It turns out pretty much everything I was eating was at the root of my misery. Sigh.
Now faced with a life of no eggs, dairy, corn, soy, nearly no nuts, and almost no grains, I had to re-teach myself how to cook, and especially how to bake.
My mum is an amazing patissière and chef. It was she of course who taught me how to cook…ish. In reality, she pretty much let me run wild in her kitchen and learn by making mistakes, blowing things up and setting pots on fire…literally. But while my mum is many things, one thing she is not is adaptable when it comes to cooking. If you asked her, she would say that there are 5 food groups. If you probed further you would find out that those 5 food groups are: pasta, cream, eggs, butter, and cheese; all of which should be accompanied with a glass (or two) of thoroughly-oaked Canadian Chardonnay. As you can imagine, getting help from her on this particular culinary stumbling block of mine was a no go.
So…for the past year, it has been me, a select few food blogs (www.paleomg.com, www.iwillnoteatoysters.com, www.thedomesticman.com and www.stupideasypaleo.com), my friend, Cindy Sexton’s cookbook, “Paleo Takes 5 or Fewer”, foodgawker, and A LOT of creativity that have kept me alive. And now that I’m back at school studying (read: sitting, reading, and typing A LOT), my happy place is still my kitchen and the food that comes out of it…and the CrossFit gym…not gonna lie.
I’ve long been interested in doing a food blog, but I kept saying I would do it when I had more time. Now realizing that I’ll never have this mysterious thing called ‘free time’, and figuring I can’t be the only person relegated to the land of culinary leperdom, I decided to start working on my blog now. My hope is that it may reach others in my current predicament who want a tasty alternative to a lifetime sentence of boiled chicken and broccoli. Of course, all you lucky grain/egg/dairy/nut/soy/and corn-eaters out there are more than welcome to partake of the delicious foods I’m tossing out there because, honestly, my goal is always to make food AS tasty as that which you can purchase in the store/restaurant. Heck, it may be even tastier! The bonus is that you can be guaranteed that while I don’t cut sugar, fat or carbs out of my diet (I need all the calories I can get with how much I train), everything I make is made with real, fresh ingredients. (The only times I venture into the centre aisles of the supermarket is to grab tinned tomatoes, tuna and chicken stock!).
I will add, however, that this whole photographing-food-thing (or just photography in general) is fairly new to me, so you may have to bear with me for the first little bit as I learn the ins and outs of lighting, set up, editing, etc. I promise that if I’m putting up a recipe, it will be delicious! Thankfully, my dad is an artist and photographer. These skills are totally genetic…right? 😉
Now, why my blog’s name? Well, when my CrossFit clients found out that I was suddenly faced with a diet consisting almost entirely of meat/fish, fruit and vegetables, they began asking, “So do you eat Paleo?” My answer would always be, “Ehhhh…I eat Paleo-ish…”