Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Journey from Food Phobe to Foodie

So, if you follow me on Facebook, you know that I've been talking a lot about food.  More specifically, local food--local farmers, local chefs and local restaurants--all of which seemed to have transformed me into an overnight foodie.  I love trying new restaurants and eating new things.  Food has finally become a source of joy in my life.  As my friend Kathianne would say, an act of nourishment.  

Food has never been easy for me.  Not only was I a picky eater, but for much of my life, food has been about control, about mood, about denial.  Even as I started training for half-marathons, I still approached food with fear and austerity.  A necessary evil, but certainly not an enjoyable experience.

But over the summer, things changed.  With my husband's help, I discovered fresh produce and meats at the Morningside Farmers' MarketAtlanta rallied around its three Top Chef contestants, most notably the fabulously talented and humble Kevin Gillespie of Woodfire Grill.  Our neighborhood continued to be a hot spot for the city's best restaurants, and I started becoming more and more adventurous with my food choices.  I saw Julie & Julia with some close girlfriends (including Kathianne and Patti), and began to see food as a source of joy, community and celebration.  I somehow got linked in to some of Atlanta's underground supper clubs, most notably rougeApron  and Prelude to Staple House, making new friends and trying new foods along the way.

Collectively, these experiences were transformative.  I no longer dread or fear food.  I'm forgoing day-long, half-hearted snacking for honest-to-goodness meals with friends and loved ones.  I'm bonding with chefs and food lovers all over town.  And I've never felt better.  I haven't been on a scale in five months.  I no longer stress over the size of my thighs.  My runs are getting stronger and faster.  I look forward to eating.  I relax during meals and savor every bit of food and conversation.

I am so humbled by and grateful to my supportive husband and wonderful friends for teaching me to appreciate the joy of food--yet another community that I am grateful to call home.


  1. Laura, it IS amazing how food can provide context for rich memories and community. I'm so glad you've been able to experience this transformation. Over the course of several years, I have, too... so thankful.

  2. Laura, what a wonderful piece. Food to me, is integral in bringing people together and showing them I love them.

  3. Laura, What a great post. It's my professional mission to get women to be friends with their food and bodies. I'm happy your journey has lead you to this place- a place where you can celebrate food and all your body does for you each day.

  4. I used to reject food just because they don't taste like my mum's cooking. Now I appreciate various foods and I have started to learn which foods to reduce or to avoid.

    I find that food is most underestimated for disease prevention.

    GREAT BLOG - thanks for this discussion and sharing of minds!!

  5. I SO wish I lived in Atlanta to tag along with you on your amazing adventure...ESPECIALLY the Supper Clubs. FUN! Thanks for sharing the link to RougeApron. Very cool! 8-) Sarah G.


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