coming full circle

Growing up, my mom was a health nut. We ate brown rice and quinoa, drank carrot juice and goats milk. If she had her dream, we would have lived on a self-sustaining farm as vegetarians. Instead, there was a constant pull between her love of tofu (and evangelistic tendencies regarding the miraculous properties of sprouts) and my father’s meat and potato demands. Fact: if we ate meat, it was chopped up and put in a stir fry or stew, always being used as a flavoring ingredient rather than the centerpiece. Part of this was economics (much more cost effective when you have a large family with horse-like appetites) and part of it was my mother’s preference. Further fact: I cannot cook meat for anything. The only reason I know how to make meatloaf or cook a burger is because we owned the restaurant and I learned there. If, for some strange reason, we have steaks or something of that nature, le husband has to cook them.
After my dad’s opposition to health food, my mom’s greatest obstacle was my sweet tooth, I think. Remember those Babysitter’s Club books, and the Asian chick named Claudia who loved junk food and hid it in her room so her tofu-eating family couldn’t find it? She was my hero. I loved candy, loved junk, and stockpiled it at every opportunity. Consequently, I was not skinny. Although busted and punished numerous times, I persisted. And when I was out on my own? There were no greater foods than a cup-of-soup or boxed macaroni and cheese. The more processed and chemical laden it was, the better it tasted. My food groups were carbs, chocolate, caffiene, and sugar.
I walked out of that period of excess a hypoglycemic. (Suprisingly, that was a relief, since my mother had warned my all my life that I if I didn’t clean up my eating I would become diabetic. Hypo is much easier to control.) It’s taken me some years to acquire anything remotely approaching a balanced view of food. Fortunately, my husband grew up in a “healthy” family as well, so he understands where I’m coming from, and loves it when I make cookies with whole wheat flour (although my mom wouldn’t approve, since I didn’t grind it myself, and it is therefore devoid of nutrients).
Spectres of our parents are hard to shake, and as I get older I find myself wondering how much my mother was right about, after all. Reading about the raw milk debate, I wondered if I would try to acquire it for my someday children to drink (I hate milk, but le husband goes through a gallon a week), or if I would stick to the goats milk that I was told was much more easily assimilated by our systems.
I’ll do my own, research, I think.


~ by wildeyedwonder on October 5, 2006.

2 Responses to “coming full circle”

  1. you and are . . . like . . . the same person . . . exactly.

  2. you know. much of what mom did was actually very cool and very right… i just think i won’t be so FANATICAL about it. eating a snickers bar isn’t going to make you die and go to hell.

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