Word of Mind, Word of Mouth

Food for thought about food

Special to The CambrianApril 3, 2014 

Who the heck decided we needed to eat three times a day or at specific times? Were you raised, as I was, to “eat everything on your plate”? What vestiges of your own upbringing did you lay on your own kids? How has your culture influenced your diet?

So, the young son came home for spring break. Because he was here until Friday, I chose to postpone Ed’s and my five-day juice fast until after he left, that we may enjoy some “real” food together. Because that’s what you do with friends and loved ones, right? Break bread.

Someone gets sick, you bring soup. Someone has an operation, someone dies, we bring food. It’s the salve of internal wounds. It nourishes the body and hence, supposedly the soul. “The way to a man’s heart is through ...” his diabetic gut!

I know while the boys were growing up I did my best to steer them toward vegetables and fruit. That doesn’t mean we didn’t treat ourselves to ice cream sundaes for dinner once in a blue moon, or breakfast for dinner, or didn’t have pizza regularly. “Balance” was always my goal. “Everything in moderation,” was my mom’s mantra.

Don’t tell them, but I used to put tofu in their smoothies. Zachary is “getting it” now, he told me. Sigh, just when I want to make a nice juicy meatloaf and garlic mashed potatoes and …. Bad habits die hard.

My mother didn’t overeat, but her choices leaned toward sweets or Midwest pot roast-type stuff. She was an excellent baker. I would give (some part of my body) for one of her apple pies. Crisco, sugar — all the “good” stuff. A stop at See’s Candy was in order when we were near one, “for a treat.” We were obviously pretty good little girls because we got lots of treats. How did we survive?

So, wanting to share a meal is still a worthy thing. We’re all in one place, conversing; it involves sharing, experiencing tasteful sensations — bonding. Now it’s: gluten-free, GMO-free, organic, grass-fed, dairy-free. Why? We are genuinely being affected by what we’re buying. Yes, age plays into it, but the young son is only 21 and realizes dairy doesn’t agree with him. The products themselves are changing.

I have “Diet for a Small Planet” from the ’70s. I remember Euell Gibbons. Gypsy Boots? Now it seriously is time to take notice, to make better choices. We are so bombarded with chemicals from all directions, our food choices becoming sketchier and sketchier. Read any good labels lately?

What prompted our juice fast? The film “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.” But I recommend to you, for a real eye opener, the flick, “Hungry for Change.” For a little light reading, check http://www.alternativemedicine.com/antibiotics/how-safe-your-food to get an idea about what is happening with our modern foods, why and how you can deal with it. The more information the better, right?

So, this doesn’t mean I’m going to give up birthday cake or milkshakes. I just may make them up out of something different. And I know my kids are catching on despite my best intentions. Except the young son wouldn’t touch the green juice. Orange maybe, but not green.

Bon appetit.

Dianne Brooke’s column is special to The Cambrian. Email her at ltd@ladytiedi.com, or visit her website at www.ladytiedi.com.

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