January 7, 2013

Me + Food = Love. Why I am a “foodie”

January 7, 2013

Before I start jumping into “you should eat this” and “you shouldn’t eat that” I want to give you a little background on why I care so much about food.

Once upon a time I lived in a small town with my mom and dad and 6 siblings. Every year my mom and dad grew gardens full of fresh veggies to feed all the hungry mouths. I learned early that fresh fruits and veggies are more than just food. They were grown and cooked with love.

Years later, I get to be the mom and I didn’t inherit my dad’s green thumb so I rely heavily on grocery store produce and friends and neighbors' gardens.  (I do have a small garden that I desperately try to keep alive every year.)

I fell in love with food gradually. I have never been on a fad diet, been more than a 10 pounds overweight, or had any medical condition that required a special diet. My love for food started in college when I took my first Nutrition course. My teacher who was about 50 years old was so beautiful and radiant and looked no older than 35. Her skin and hair were practically glowing with health.  I would watch how her eyes sparkled as she taught us the most important role of nutrition: not to help us lose weight, attract the opposite sex, increase energy, or any other tag line you see on a magazine cover.

Nutrition is to help us PREVENT CHRONIC DISEASE!

(light bulb)

This idea changed how I looked at everything I ate. “Will this cheeseburger give me cancer? Will whole milk give me heart disease? Will gummy bears give me diabetes? Which vegetables have the most disease fighting power?” And most importantly I started reading the labels on everything I ate.  I had power over the unknown!

The “normal” diet in America (also called the Western Diet) is made up of

what is quick-and-easy and can be stored for a long time. Everything is packed with preservatives and processed until it is unrecognizable so that it has a 2+ year shelf life. White flour, white sugar, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, yada yada yada.  By now most of us have heard a million times what the “bad foods” are.

 

So here is my theory about food.

Food = Life

Ok, completely obvious right? Everyone needs food to live.

But it is more than that. Live food = Life 

We need to make sure there is still life in our food so that it can give us life (and I’m not talking sushi and steak tartar here.) I mean, you are what you eat, right?

When we buy a can of green beans from the shelf at the store we think we are getting the same thing we get from the garden. When we process beans we break down some of the important nutrients like fiber, vitamin C,and Vitamin A. And even more importantly we lose the digestive enzymes that are only in raw foods. Some nutrition is still there but it loses a lot of it’s “life” .

After this epiphany about live foods I started eating up books from the library about fad diets and not-so-fad diets. I searched through all of the hype and fluff and found what works best for me and my family.

Nutrition is a fast evolving field that is always changing. I read and study as much as I can and I use what I believe to be true when I feed my family. I have one especially sensitive son who I know needs special dietary attention and I do my best to keep my picky little boy well nourished and it is not easy at all.

I am excited to start talking more about my passion for good food! This doesn’t mean I am a five star cook or that I am going to be passing out award winning recipes (if I could only be so lucky). It just means that I want to help you to help your family be healthy! I believe that we can tackle childhood obesity and chronic disease one home at a time!!!!!

Healthy food is the best food you will ever eat. It will feed your body, mind, and soul.

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