My mother has a lot of food related chronic disease. She is a diabetic, has hyper-tension, and most recently, only has about ten percent of kidney function left. She goes to at least four different Doctors every month and takes medication all day long. She has been on a very strict diet for years: no sugar, no salt, only 4oz of protein a day, and little to no potassium which limits so many of the delicious fruits and veggies we all love. Had she been on a healthy diet, one that included fruits and veggies and maybe some form of exercise in middle age, had she had a better connection with her body, or not been so ignorant on nutrition, she may have been able to avoid all of these ailments.
Here is the irony in all of this. My mother worked in the food industry, yet knew nothing of the science behind the food she was serving. She cooked for a living for over 20 years and yet, would only cook for her family on the weekends. She was an organized expediter in her professional kitchen, yet could not get it together to organize how she and her family could eat a healthier diet.
I ate way too many sandwiches, way too much fast food and soda as a child and it was not okay. My body knew it wasn’t okay to the point trying to become a vegetarian at 14 and asking for “comida verdadera," or real food, daily. But alas, one cannot live off of white rice or iceberg lettuce alone, which is all that was in my house when I was trying to be a vegetarian with no income of my own for better groceries.
My food journey has been a long one filled with lots of reading about nutrition, trying out different culinary lifestyles, and eating. Lots of good eating. I have been vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, back to vegetarian, an extreme carnivore and now an omnivore who tries to eat mostly organic, wild caught, grass-fed, cage free, locally grown and in season.
I like to eat and so I like to cook.
My big generalization for this week is that we are probably not raising our kids with the same food traditions that we grew up with because so much has changed in the food industry, including how much we know and how aware we are of our bodies.
What did you grow up eating?
Do you have a food tradition in your family that you are propagating in your own household?
Or are you starting new food traditions that are more aligned to your current beliefs?
Would love to hear from you!
Wendy writes blog posts that turn into conversations for the Mamá Cita Podcast.