Life Lessons from a Loaf of Bread
One of my goals for this summer was to start baking bread. I’ve been talking about wanting to do it for a while but like with most things new, it seemed overwhelming and I wasn’t sure where to start, so I just… didn’t. I’m not sure what changed, but while shopping one day I noticed a Cultures for Health sourdough starter kit at the store, threw it in my cart, and made up my mind.
I did a little research, read the instructions on the insert card for the starter yeast, and mixed it with some flour and water. I spent a good 10 days after that unsure if my starter was working, if I was feeding it correctly, reading articles online, watching YouTube videos, and completely bummed because I was pretty sure I had somehow managed to kill my starter before ever even baking with it. On the off-chance it was in fact alive though, I decided to just try baking a loaf of bread. What did I have to lose? Some more flour, water and a tiny bit of salt? I could manage that.
After spending more time trying to figure out how to bake a loaf and what method to use (seriously, there are so many methods and beliefs on how to bake the best loaf out there, that again, I found myself super overwhelmed), I just chose one and went for it. I knew that I would be mad at myself if I spent all of this time researching and preparing only to run out of time to actually try it. So, I baked bread. And guess what? It turned out great! It wasn’t perfect, it was definitely a little wonky, but it tasted like freshly baked bread so that’s a win in my book! Since then I’ve been making a loaf every week, getting more and more comfortable with how to treat my starter, figuring out what it needs, finding the baking method I like best, and just enjoying the process (and of course the results!).
I often find that my clients are afraid of cooking, or think that they are bad at it. They tell me that they can’t eat well because they aren’t experienced cooks, but the thing is that no one starts out perfectly at anything. It takes patience, practice, and persistence to get better and get comfortable with a new skill. The most important thing you can do is to try. The same goes for anything in nutrition, fitness, and really, in life. If you are trying to change your diet or make a new fitness class part of your routine, it will take some time for those things to come easily and to be second-nature. That’s okay. The learning process is where you grow. Give yourself a chance and most importantly, don’t be afraid to just start somewhere. You might be baking your own bread before you know it!