Traci Anello

Food is art


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Anti-inflammation journey update :)

I used to be the person who started something with all of the intension of making it work, over and over and over again. Something had to change.
Prior to a month ago, I was talking with a nurse about her new food choices. She decided to take white flour, sugar and processed foods out of her daily meals.A chef I know also decided to do the same thing. They are two different friends that work in two different places and just happen to be doing the same thing. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for just about ever. So I read a great article by JJ Virgin and Dr. Andrew Weil and decided it was time. My body wanted it. My body needed it.
Once I decided my body deserves this, I was going to do this. And I have.

I’m into week 5 and the way my body has responded has been astounding. I’m down a size in jeans, I’m sleeping better, my skin looks healthier, no joint pain and my mind seems much clearer. I tried so many crazy ways to lose the weight. Even Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig weren’t helping. The article I read by JJ Virgin said her clients who felt they were eating very healthy and in moderation had trouble losing weight.She suggested the 7 trouble foods that could be the culprit: Gluten, dairy, eggs, corn, peanuts, sugar and soy. She suggests for 21 days to take all of them out and then slowly add them back in one at a time. I thought it had to be the gluten. I’ve been working with gluten-free clients for years. My specialty is creating recipes for people who can not have gluten in any of their meals. It’s a very different lifestyle. From celiac disease to joint pain, skin rashes, tummy troubles and eczema to children diagnosed with ADD and ADHD. I have seen the remarkable effects removing gluten can do. Why did I not think this applied to me? The answer was right there the entire time through the work that I have done for years. Within three days, I stopped a nagging cough I had for 5 weeks. Dairy?? I started sleeping through the night better. My skin was beginning to look healthier. My body is happy. My insides want to dance but right now it’s still working over time on repairing the damage I’ve caused over the years. It will dance soon.

I decided to take my favorite wine out while I was on this journey. That was a bit tougher than the gluten. After the first week, I really didn’t want one so something was working.

Now that I’m into week 5, I have decided that this is my new lifestyle. I love the way I’m enjoying my meals. I love what I’m learning. I especially love what I’m able to share. I’ve said before that one of my friend’s is a chef who has no adopted the same lifestyle. How lucky am I! We talk often about different ways to prepare vegetables, proteins and great delicious ways to add various types of beans. I’m very happy with how everything is going. One of my favorite things is to make a topping with artichokes, tomatoes, kalamato olives, onions, green peppers and jalapenos. It’s something I keep in the fridge and add to fish, chicken and salads. Today I added garbanzo beans and pinto beans, sea salt and a wonderful piece of sliced turkey.

Every morning starts with a great tasting shake: Organic raspberries, baby spinach, flax or hemp seeds, almond milk, RAW protein powder and spring water. I love it! Every morning it’s a great way to start my day! Mid morning is an organic gala apple with two tablespoons of almond butter with sea salt.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is this has been a wonder journey! It’s one that I just started and one that I’m going to love to continue. I’m looking forward to my physical next month and full blood work. My body is happy. When your body is happy, it certainly tells you.

The best news right now is starting next month the farmers markets open up. I can’t wait. last year I was a regular customer buying veggies to juice. This year I will be that regular customer except it will be more than just juicing vegetables. This year I’m going to seek out new vegetables to try. I love my salads and I love creating new sides for fresh fish.

It’s a wonderful new beginning. I’m happy that you’ve taken the time to read my blog and I hope it inspires you to give this a try. Your body will love it.

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A new beginning with painting

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There comes a time when you get a bit older that you rediscover yourself, at least I am. Last Spring there was an opportunity to take a painting lesson in Portland, Maine. I signed up but never schedules a date. Everytime I picked up the phone to call, I found another excuse not to go. Finally in September, I made the call. The instructor was very sweet and accommodating. I only have one day a week to complete all of my errands. We agreed on a date: September 28th. I had that date engraved in my mind. I was going to do the smaller paintings on my own. I had no idea what I was doing but it felt good to sit and paint what I thought would soon become wall decorations. Well, maybe for my office or over where the cat furniture is. It just wasn’t coming out the way I had hoped. Until today…

I arrived at my lesson and saw a table with two vases of flowers, a box and an apple on top of the box and a tea cup. It looked pretty but was that my project? Did I mistakenly tell her I WAS a painter? And she thinks I’m going to paint that? What have I gotten myself into now. So I took a deep breath and decided I was going to do this. I looked around at the painting she had around her portion of the studio and liked all of them. I knew at least I was with someone who knew what she was doing and was very good at it. It’s kind of like going to a restaurant and if the food looks good and tastes better, the chef knows what he’s doing.

First she had me sketch the scene out. She offered very helpful tips on how to do this. Good thing because I’m the daughter of an engineer and I make sharp corners and straight lines. Not so much with pencil sketching. She was a wonderful instructor. Then she had me sketch on a piece of canvas. I was nervous but another deep breath and I was on my way. Then the paints came out. This was like teaching a culinary class and handing someone a chefs knife and watching their knees buckle. She went through the colors and how to mix and work with different textures. Her techniques were simple to follow. By the end of class, the painting was done. She asked me to step back and take a look. It was amazing to me. I could see all of the tips she gave and the patience she displayed. It was on my tiny canvas and beautiful!

I quickly scheduled a second lesson in two weeks. I love food and I love art. Im not sure if she knew i loved tea and i work with food but her first still art lesson was right on. I’m guessing my painting will include some sort of food. Food is love and so is art.

As I discover who I am and what I really like, I’m learning to love who I actually am. It took me a long time to get here but it’s been worth the trip. I love to teach and I have spent most of my life being the instructor. Today I was the student. I’m now going to enjoy the rest of my days being that student. I love the new experiences life has to offer.