I have always had an interesting relationship with food. My early childhood was full of family meals, and always ate at the dinner table. We spent time with our food, had deep meaningful conversations around our meals, and always shared the responsibility of cooking, setting the table and cleaning up. I feel this time in my life is probably when my relationship with food was the “healthiest”. We were conscious about what we were eating and what we were putting on our plates.
Once I got older, I got further away from my parents’ table. I worked at Subway growing up in HS, and Red Robin to put myself through college. I was working all the time, and would eat the food that was readily available, at any moment I could catch my breath. Often, the option ending up being cold food, that I didn’t even have to order, but was extra. As I got into restaurant management, the pattern continued. 12-hour days, all focused on food. Not the food I grew up with, but quick service, fast, addictive food. I always justified my eating habits in my head. “Oh, well this is free”. “Oh, well I worked Open to Close today, I deserve this”. I was a raccoon!! I knew this lifestyle was not sustainable for the type of life I desired for myself. I wanted, and needed more time to take care of myself, and spend time with my family.
Once I left work the operations level of restaurants, I did not leave the restaurant industry. I worked for a Broadline Distributor- selling food and anything else you could think of, directly to the hospitality industry. Travelling, food sampling, getting fed when visiting customers- again, the long hours way from home- nothing changed about my health. I would say, it got worse because I was not getting my steps in like I had in the past. Again, something had to change. I was playing soccer, and trying to be active, but felt worse and worse. I knew it must be my eating and lack of exercise habits, but always felt like my diet was never “THAT BAD”. I even had friends mention that “you eat pretty healthy, why do you feel like you need a change”.
COVID was the worst thing that could have happened to my health and my habits. Soccer-gone, running races- gone, and you know what became more readily available? DoorDash, ChowNow, UberEats. All these little “treats and rewards” that I gave myself after a long day at work. I was too exhausted to cook-and often, I was cooking for myself, so why even bother? Since starting at BBP in late winter of 2022, I have had such a new outlook on Food and nourishment for my body. A lot of the change had to do with the education I received at the Tradeshows. I have been constantly wanting to improve my health, my energy and mentality- and eating the right foods can help me do that. I am excited to see where the CEC can lead me.