Eating Real Food.
I consider myself to be healthy, but then I realized that my definition of healthy is probably very different from yours.
At the dinner table growing up we never talked about fats, or any foods being fattening. I learned that some foods were more nutritious than others, but most of the time we learned the food on our table that whole foods are the best foods for us to eat.
My mom never measured olive oil, and didn’t hesitated to make a decadent sauce now and again. But everything she cooked was real. Pasta with broccoli, pine nuts, and chicken. Pan fried sole with spinach. Breaded chicken served with ravioli in a cream sauce. Salad after every meal. I never had a single packaged frozen meal growing up. In fact, the closest my mom ever came to using processed foods for our dinners was the occasional prepared pizza dough in the roll. Yes, we had potato chips and Kit Kats and Froot Loops in the house, but none of those foods ever saw the dinner table. Every dinner was a delicious, fresh, whole food meal, lovingly prepared.
My senior year of high school I went through a bit of a phase. My mom had just gotten sick again and I needed a way to deal with it. I decided to be as healthy as I could be. At that time I thought it meant forgoing olive oil completely and refusing to eat any full fat cheeses or white pasta. I have a specific memory of seeing my family’s beautiful dinner on the table and being so mad that my mom used olive oil to cook the chicken- I had to go and cook my own separate piece with a sad spray of Pam. For a first try in healthy eating, it wasn’t awful. I learned about a lot of vegetables my mom had never cooked (sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, etc), and I learned what type of diet gives me the most energy. Luckily, though, I also learned that a life without olive oil, and more importantly, moderation, is not the life I wanted to live.
I’ve come so far away from that philosophy… in fact, I’ve come full circle. It seems like every day I become more like my mom.
I never think about the fat in real food. I never think about whether it is really high in calories or not. I use olive oil, light cream, cheese, nuts, etc. all the time and don’t think about it.
And I am just realizing that a lot of people do think about it.
I guess that my current philosophy is that no one ever became unhealthy by eating bananas or using olive oil. They are natural foods that serve a purpose.
Food is a serious passion of mine. During breakfast I’m thinking about lunch, and during lunch I’m thinking about dinner. I have always been that way and I always will. I love creating beautiful and healthy meals. Like my mom, every night I make a salad for us to enjoy after dinner.
I believe that we should eat foods as close to nature as possible, but that we should also enjoy them with gusto.
I am proud of my choices, and I am healthy, strong, and happy.
What do you believe?
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