Tuesday, November 10, 2015
The Power of Food
I was a picky eater.
Growing up, I didn't eat vegetables — save for the occasional green bean, some corn, baked beans and pickles??? (do any of these even count!?)
You might be wondering what I ate. Let me tell you: chicken, hamburgers, grilled cheese and lots of boxed, processed foods, like macaroni & cheese and hamburger helper. And that was IT.
Sometimes when I'm tempted to point the finger of blame, I look at Nora in her stubborn toddler state and realize my parents did the best they could with what they had — especially if I was half as stubborn as she is.
Learning to cook real food has been quite the process for me. I still remember, as an adult mind you, the moment I realized that even macaroni and cheese could be made from raw materials and not just from a box.
It was in college that my dietary choices caught up with me. I was diagnosed with and suffered from IBS. It was debilitating at times. I experienced a lot of pain and a lot of tears during what should have been the best years of my life. I visited a gastroenterologist to work through it, but I don't ever remember him telling me to put the Pop-tarts down and pick up some spinach.
Flash forward to after college — to my wedding. My digestive tract was flared again. It was messed up enough that I wanted to plan my wedding around the times that I knew my body would give me fits. It would have been preferable for me to skip eating altogether (which I essentially did).
Guys, our food choices matter.
Now, there's nothing more satisfying than making real, nutritious food from scratch for myself and my family. When I watch Nora devouring Brussels sprouts (soon to be straight out of my garden) a baby tear of pride rolls down my cheeks.
Getting married and becoming a mom have given me the drive to cultivate my culinary appetite. I show love through the food I serve. It's my heart on a platter. Nora will not suffer the way I did. I want better for her.
Knowledge is power.
What can you do? Watch food documentaries. Buy a cookbook that emphasizes real food. Start a garden — no matter how small. Learn to cook a couple of healthy meals from scratch. Replace 1-2 processed foods/snacks/ingredients in your home with real food (homemade potato chips, homemade chicken broth). If you have kids, find a vegetable that you can prepare in a way that they will like it. It's possible, I promise.
As for me, I plan to continue to cultivate my passion for food production and the culinary arts. Sometimes, when you have a God-sized dream, you just need at least one person to come alongside you and tell you you're not crazy. I have been fortunate enough to find encouragement to chase the things that matter most to me.
The Melvilles have a lot of exciting prospects on the horizon in the coming months and years — God-willing. I am not ready to disclose it all here yet since best laid plans and all.... I promise I will bring you all on board when the time is right!