When my kids were small, I never bought soda for our house.
I did buy Frosted Flakes and Captain Crunch, and my kids ate bagels with cream cheese, macaroni and cheese and hot dogs. They drank (not organic) whole milk.
But in my defense, I rarely deep-fried or used butter.
Today, my kids tease me because there was a time I professed pecan pie was healthy due to all the nuts.
I thought I was brilliant in creating a dish that got my children to eat every vegetable under the sun. In a Pyrex, I put a layer of brown rice. On top of that I placed sautéed vegetables (there was no restriction — spinach, asparagus, carrots, broccoli — anything I added, they ate). I topped the whole thing off with a heaping mound of Muenster cheese and baked. They couldn’t get enough.
I did aim to feed my children a healthy diet. And I’d come far considering I grew up eating TV dinners and vegetables out of a can.
But I was buying Raisin Bran instead of Cocoa Puffs and if you read the nutrition label, Raisin Bran has a lot of sugar, and isn’t really healthful.
I didn’t understand a lot about nutrition. The thought of not eating white flour was outrageous because it wiped out most of what we consumed. And I literally had the thought that there would be nothing left to eat.
Well, I should’ve been grateful for those days because now that my daughters are young adults, they’ve taught me a thing or two, and we’ve given up white flour (we use chickpea, almond and buckwheat flour) and taken this whole diet thing, as in lifestyle, not calorie counting, to a new level.
We don’t eat anything out of a can. We stay away from cheese and all processed foods.
My son, who does not live at home any longer, came by the other day. He opened a cabinet, saw nuts and seeds of all kinds and said, “It looks like birds are living here.”
My daughter, an excellent customer of Nuts.com, received a free hat in the mail. It said, Nuts.
My daughters buy raw snacks and probiotic dark chocolate.
We eat Ezekiel bread and organic everything from chicken to eggs to peanut butter.
And this isn’t about calories. We eat a lot of raw almonds, avocados and fresh coconut meat.
Another thing I learned this year, that I did not know, is that I was using too much olive oil. Yes, it’s good for your skin and better than other oils. However, it’s uneccessarily caloric. And I needed to cut back.
We use pink salt and black salt. My kids look at kosher salt as if it’s poison.
We eat a lot of cauliflower, brussel sprouts and jicama. We eat sweet potatoes because we wouldn’t dream of eating a white potato. At least not without some guilt, knowing we picked the less healthy choice.
No more regular pasta. We eat brown rice pasta instead.
It’s been an education — and I’m still learning. Every day there is something else to add to the list, or take off.
As much as I try, it’s been hard to get properly educated about what’s good for us. But even still, I feel fortunate. I have access and I can afford healthy food.
What’s the rest of the country, and the world, supposed to do?