Anyone who knows me knows that I have always had a love affair with food. At age 12 I was gifted a subscription to Bon Appetit Magazine and from then on, I’ve spent many nights lying in bed, envisioning what recipe to test next.

More recently though, as someone with hypothyroidism, the way I eat suddenly began to matter more. As much as I loved food, many of my favorite meals joined a long list of foods I couldn’t eat. However, this also opened a window for me to turn this challenge into an opportunity to really put my culinary skills to the test and start cooking food that catered to my dietary needs.

For me, my key areas of focus are on preparing meals that are anti-inflammatory and rich in vitamins. Of course, with a million and one diet fads out there, I’ve had a lot of trial and errors. Ultimately, the ketogenic diet is what I have found best achieves my dietary needs without limiting what I like to eat. The ketogenic diet is essentially a low carb (not no-carb) diet. And it’s not a diet per se – not at least in the sense that the agenda is to lose weight. The point of the diet is to develop a long-term meal plan to incorporate in your lifestyle, one that limits processed foods, but lets you dine out without asking for everything but the lettuce removed from your burger.

As much as I was once a carb-oholic for the better part of 16 years, I’ve found it’s a lot easier to eliminate the bad when you realize just how good the good really is. I still indulge because I’m only human, and yes, I am a stress eater, but for the most part eating healthy is no longer a conscious effort so much as it is a part of my day to day life.