I am not a stranger to healthy eating. Most people think I am a very healthy eater. Maybe compared to most people, I am. I love salads. I don't pig out on sweets. I don't eat meat every day. My nutritional history goes: Meat & Potatoes to Vegan to Anything I Can Get and Back Again.
I became a vegetarian when I moved out of my parents' house at 18. I spent five years exploring ethical eating, alternative nutrition and herbalism, and became an excellent vegetarian cook. I spent a year as a vegan. Then my life changed alot.
I started eating meat again when I was in Korea, teaching English for a year. I just don't like the way Koreans do vegetables, all fermented and shriveled and smelly (though the tofu there is EXCELLENT). And I was very busy and eating out most of the time. So I was eating very poorly and hungry alot until I decided to try some of my co-worker's takeout japanese pork cutlet. It was delicious. From there fried chicken and sausages (Korean pub fare, go figure--also drank alot of beer that year) and Korean barbecue became standard.
Will Sing For Food. . . Any Food
When I came back to Canada I moved in with my brother and some friends to start a band, and had trouble finding work. It was pretty hungry times and I ate whatever anyone offered me ever, with gratitude. The next five years, my life stayed hectic and my eating habits were up and down.
Fish Sticks and Pizza Pops? Really?
After I had a baby, full of adorable notions of providing my family with pure & optimal nutrition, I discovered what convenience foods are for. Parents. Ugh. I found myself filling my freezer with things I formerly would not have considered food, because I didn't have time to cook and needed things that were easy to stick in my mouth.
Organic Homemade Babyfood to A&W Drive-Thru
Things improved a bit when my son started eating food, of course I wanted to give him only organic homemade everything. But he's kind of picky, and life is actually even more hectic than when I was trying to make a living as a musician, living off beer, rice cakes and peanut butter. I'm embarrassed to admit we've eaten fast food at least three times in the last month. Okay, that might be better than the average North American, but I don't want my son to grow up thinking a burger and fries from Wendy's will meet his nutritional requirements.
Reliving My Childhood
Actually, since starting a family, I have largely reverted to my early programming, and started cooking like my parents did when I was a kid. Pot roasts, chicken and roasted vegetables, baked fish, pasta & meat sauce, meat & cheese sandwiches, breakfast cereal, cookies. I am extremely grateful that my parents are both good cooks and taught me to eat balanced meals with lots of vegetables. But my upbringing was also meat-heavy, processed-carb-heavy, dairy-heavy, processed-food moderate, non-organic, and sugar-permissive.
I Know Better
I can do better than that. My health needs it. My son deserves it. And my husband thinks he's healthy enough, but I know better. ;-)
On To Whole Foods
I spent some time mystified over how to change our eating habits. I can't imagine just trying to cook like I did in university. I don't have the time, or the budget. And the needs of a nursing mom, working dad and growing toddler are not the same as a studying twenty-year-old, and all need to be met. My raw/superfood chef brother recommended some books, several of which called for radical changes I can't imagine organizing. And one of them was Healing with Whole Foods, which contained the solution I was looking for. Eat real food. This simple goal is a perfect starting point for my family's nutritional development.
Where are you at in your journey?