Until recently, the kitchen and I were not friends. In fact, several months into dating my now-husband, he finally said, “Oh… You really don’t cook!”
In light of that fact, I’m extremely proud these days of my attempts to feed my family in a healthy and enjoyable way.
About a year ago we decided it was time to “get healthy.” There were a number of reasons for this. Amongst them:
- Our older daughter’s chronic constipation and cough
- Our younger daughter’s eczema and full-body rashes due to food sensitivities
- My husband’s recently discovered basal cell carcinoma (which was successfully removed) followed by him being diagnosed at the age of 39 with glaucoma!
I, fortunately, had no specific ailments at the time. However, allergies have plagued me throughout my life and I was aware that, at any time, the wrong combination or amount of foods (or beverages) could suddenly flick the switch and I would be off on a 2-4 day body-depleting sneezathon.
Pause… As I reread the above statements about our family, my gut instinct is to think, “Wow, what a tragic group of people!” However, the very sad fact that I’ve learned over time is that we’re not at all abnormal!
We were eating a standard American diet (SAD) and we were getting the standard American results as far as our health and well-being went. And, while people wouldn’t have considered us overweight, we each had a “few pounds” we could lose.
In December 2011, I randomly landed on a WGBH telethon program on which they were promoting a program by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. As Dr. Fuhrman explained the impacts of various foods on our bodies, why so many people in our society are so sick, and how simple it can be to remedy many of those ills, it spoke to a part of me that I had been ignoring for years. I knew what he was saying was true and I knew it was time for me to step up around caring for myself and my family.
Ironically, after purchasing the program, there was a glitch in the order system and it didn’t arrive until mid-February. In fact, it, rather auspiciously, landed in our mailbox on the exact day my husband was diagnosed with glaucoma.
And, while diet hasn’t been proven to heal glaucoma, we knew something had to change. We knew this had to be a step in the right direction and the diagnosis gave us the motivation to jump on the bandwagon fast.
I got inspired and spent more time in the kitchen than I had probably done in the previous 5 years combined. Ben was pleasantly surprised at how good our new way of eating could taste. Gemma was still solely nursing, so I didn’t have to worry about her yet.
And then there was Siena. Siena, at 3-and-a-half years old, had become quite accustomed to (and happy with) the standard American (kids) diet: mac and cheese, chicken tenders, maybe fish sticks, pasta, plus a few pieces of fruit or a vegetable here and there.
Now, if you read Dr. Fuhrman’s book for kids, his take on getting a child to eat healthier is that if ship-wrecked, a kid isn’t going to starve to death. Give them less options, stick to your guns, and pretty soon they will happily eat whatever food they can get their hands on. I.e. They’re smart and adaptable (even the super picky ones).
Uh, oh! Not to leave you hanging, but my “me-time” is up, so part 2 will be coming soon!
Cheers and Namaste,