New and Improved!

A friend of mine mentioned on my Instagram account the other day that I should include recipes with the pictures I post. I immediately thought, “well that’s why I have a blog”.

Then I realised it’s been 12 months since I posted anything here. And that there was a 6 month gap between that and the post before it. Ok… So maybe it’s a little disingenuous to say I have a blog.

It is clearly time to poop or get off the pot, and I’ve been looking for a new project, so the choice rather made itself!

Life has changed in many ways since I last posted, and these changes will definitely affect the direction and content of this little website. My main hurdle to blogging in version 1.0 was certainly time – between work, uni and family, I simply didn’t have any. I’m glad to announce that I graduated with a Masters degree in teacher librarianship last December, so while work is still crazy and Spunky Tech Guy, Master 9 and Miss 7 keep me well and truly on my toes, I now have one less major commitment to worry about.

Just as I have the time to maintain a blog (and the inclination – I had to blog for uni, and it sucked all the fun out of it!), I also have a better sense of direction for What’s Cooking Good Looking. Since August 2017, I have lost 41 kilograms (that’s 90 pounds)! I have cut nothing out – I still eat treats, I still make fun and varied dishes, and I still have a passion for cooking. I just eat a little less of it, with a better sense of balance, and I walk and/or run 5km daily. I count my calories using My Fitness Pal, and have built an amazing support network of friends there. No tricks, no gimmicks. I just educated myself on eating well, and stopped lying to myself about what I was doing.

All that to say, I want this blog to be a celebration of healthy, family friendly eating. I’m pretty blessed in that my kids eat pretty much anything I put in front of them, and the only argument I have to have with them about vegetables is when they eat the salad ingredients they know I need for dinner that night. Still, STG and I are responsible for their development, and it’s important to me that the kids follow a healthy lifestyle, so we talk a lot about making good choices and eating whole, nutritious food while stressing that it’s absolutely okay to indulge once in a while, too!

It’s also very important to me that we eat food that is awesome and honest in it’s own right. Everything I cook has easy to obtain ingredients, and is usually fairly budget conscious. I also don’t want to eat or share “fat free, dairy free, carb free” anything. I want to appreciate food for what it is, not resent it or only accept it for what it isn’t (allergies/sensitivities aren’t something I have to worry about). While the majority of what I post about will be low calorie, relatively “clean” food, I don’t subscribe to any diet or food fad, and you won’t find anything described as paleo, XYZ-free, “better for you”, or diet in the title (even if it is one, some or all of those things). These recipes are what they are. If you’re after a low fat, sugar free, grain free cheesecake, you and I see the point of cheesecake in very different ways.

You can be relatively confident that everything I post fits comfortably into an active lifestyle in which 1200-1500 calories are consumed across 3 meals and a couple of snacks, and I will likely post the amount of calories of the dish, simply because I calculate them on MFP, so I know that information already. But I’m not a nutritionist or dietitian, I’m not looking to give advice (I’m just sharing my experiences and recipes!), and those calculations aren’t guaranteed.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how this blog goes. I get a lot of “I can’t believe you’ve lost so much weight and still cook food that looks like that”. Honestly, I’d never have lost any weight if I had to restrict what I ate to lettuce and grilled chicken (although I eat my fair share of both). I genuinely love food and cooking even more now that I’m eating so well, and I am excited to share my journey with you all.