The Challenge of Eating Nourishing Food.
I grew up in a typical low-income family. My Mom made a home-cooked meal most nights but we frequently ate boxed and processed foods. We had Kraft Dinner and canned ravioli. We ate boxed cereal, instant mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets. I grew up eating processed food, so when I moved out I only knew how to make hashbrowns from a bag and sandwiches. I frequently ate “Sidekicks” (packaged pasta dishes) and didn’t know how to make anything from scratch (except cookies).
My first move to healthy eating happened when I learned about factory farming. I was so disturbed by it that I went vegetarian for a couple years. When I became pregnant with my first child I taught myself how to cook. I used “The Moosewood Cookbook” as a guide and muse. I learned to make casseroles and pasta dishes from scratch, I learned to make salads and vegetable dishes. I cooked dinner every night and I started buying organic produce.
As I learned more about farming and the integral role that animals play in farming, I started to want to eat meat again. I knew I wanted to stay away from factory farmed meat so I sourced out local meat from small farmers.
It was fairly easy for me to transition to healthy eating the more I learned more about the downfalls of conventional farming. It took time to retrain my tastebuds but the desire for healthy food was strong and kept me going. I didn’t want to consume GMO’s, pesticides, chemicals, preservatives, and high-fructose corn syrup.
If I were to recommend some steps to changing your diet it would be these:
1. Stop buying junky food – if it isn’t in your house you will be forced to eat differently.
2. Find local meat and organic produce and dairy – it is more expensive but your health is worth it.
3. Educate yourself about what is in your food and where your food comes from – this will give you a strong incentive to change.
4. Prepare as much from scratch as you can – make your own salad dressings and sauces.
5. Buy some good wholesome cookbooks – to inspire you.
6. Grow some of your own food – really connect with what you are consuming.
7. Give yourself a pat on the back – be proud that you are making to move to a healthier you.
8. Take it slow, don’t expect to change overnight, just keep going and don’t give up.