You may have noticed some changes on Palette Dining over the past couple months, or, if you’ve been a reader from the start, over the last (nearly) two years.

The past year has been ripe with transformations, new opportunities, travel, love, and loss. It’s lead me to both take breaks from my regular posting schedule, and to also throw myself into my blog as a means of distraction. But my blog has always been there, and you, my readers have remained, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

When Palette Dining first came to fruition, I was searching for a creative outlet and a way to move forward with my increasingly healthy relationship to food. Since I was 15, I’ve restricted my eating in some way, whether that was avoiding dairy, gluten, meat, or sugar…I’ve tried it all. I told myself the sole purpose was to be healthier, but the root of these food restrictions was dissatisfaction with my body.

My story is similar to many other womens’, so I’ll spare you the details, but it involved strict food rules I followed like a cult, with incessant calorie counting. I coupled that with heavy exercise, which lead me to drastically lose weight — not healthy. I lost enjoyment in eating, as I was always stressed about whether I had burned off enough calories in the day.

I’ve come to the realization over the past few months that my vegetarian diet–though I still strongly believe in the benefits of a plant based diet and better treatment for animals– was a symptom of my body dysphoria.

When I started slowly introducing meat into my diet again, something amazing happened. I no longer second-guessed every item of food before it went into my mouth. I was eating things because I wanted to eat them, because they tasted good, and not because they were part of some exclusive diet. All of a sudden my world was opened to every ingredient I could find, every new ethnic food I was offered, and I was flooded with excitement.

As I started slyly slipping real butter into my grocery basket instead of the highly processed vegan spread, I was overwhelmed with inspiration. All of a sudden, I felt like I could really bake every recipe in my beloved cookbooks, and not selectively choose the dog-eared vegan ones while staring wistfully at buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbreads.

So, as a result, I’ve decided to make some big changes to Palette Dining. My original tagline was “healthy eats & yummy treats,” but I’m going to take it somewhere new. You’ll still see vegetarian recipes here on occasion, but you’ll also see many more hearty, comforting dishes made with butter and cheese. You’ll see a stronger focus on desserts and baked goods, because working with dough is so therapeutic and calming. And you’ll see lots and lots of real, true butter. Because you know what? F*ck fake butter.

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