So many close friends have labeled me as "the healthy one." Is this the case? Maybe. I certainly know that by comparison I am more conscience of what goes in my body than most. I am less like to "splurge" than the majority of people I surround myself with (including my husband) and I tend to picture how my food is processed and what nutrients may be absorbed as I am planning a meal and sometimes even eating it. A little nutty? Quite possibly. The funny part is I am bombarded with comments such as "you are so lucky to be skinny" or "you just have good genes" or "I could never wear that." NEWS FLASH PEOPLE: I eat butter, I don't exercise as much as I should and yes, I do have good genes, but ultimately it comes down to me making what goes into (and out) of my body a top priority EVERY day. FOOD IS FUEL. Why does our society not get that? Nutrition has the ability to both prevent and cure disease, control hormones and moods, give you energy and and a better quality of life. Yet every day people all over this country consciencly make the decision to consume and worse-feed their children machine processed, high fructose corn syrup filled, hormone injected foods. Yes, I know. It's more work to care what you eat and most of us "just don't have the time or money". That is HONKY-TONK. If a little more insight and thought into your food decision keeps you healthy and happy throughout the additional years (thanks to modern medicine) why not make it an investment like any other. This is my soapbox, I know. It came about when my 8 month pregnant sister (whom I love dearly) jokingly said "Emma (future niece) is not gonna want to come to Aunt Randi's House because she won't have a candy drawer." We both laughed (cause its kind of funny) but then I thought about it a little more. And after a little girl literally turned down my healthy Halloween treat I realized sadly it makes so much sense. Kids want what they see their parents and other kids eating. The flip side of my niece potentially thinking of her aunt as a hippie-granola, health freak is-What is a future whole food nutrition influenced mom to do when she sends her child over to others homes? I can feed my future children everything whole and healthy as possible and hope that they adopt healthy habits but what happens when you release them into the world? What happens the first time they spend the night at a friends house who does have a candy drawer? Why is candy, McDonald's, and Pizza Hut considered a "treat" during sleepovers? And why is it that I would be considered controlling and unrealistic by expecting my child not to be exposed to things that are so detrimental to their growth and health? Let's face it, children are influenced by what their parents teach them first, then by what their teachers and classmates teach them, next by what they are exposed to in the media and on TV. That little girl at Halloween was not even willing to try a sweet, nutty flavored sesame stick that in many other cultures would be an indulgent piece of candy? Why? Because her other options were Sweet Tarts, M&M's, and Bottle Caps. Those items are "candy" to her because that is what she has been given and exposed to from the time she could even utter the words "candy". What if she had been given a sesame stick or freshly made smoothie first?
My soapbox point is this:
We cannot expect our children to develop healthy habits if we don't set healthy standards at home and in society. I am not talking about feeding them a low fat, sugar free, tasteless diet with no education behind why. I say we take the opposite approach.
"Mom, why can't I have that McDonald's hamburger?"
"Well Son, you CAN have that, you are physically able to eat it, however it offers your body no fuel for your football practice, quite possibly could give you a tummy ache, and eventually could add extra fat to your body that won't be attractive to the ladies later in life. How about tomorrow night I make you a burger made from a grass fed cow, topped with home grown onion that you can grab from the garden yourself, creamy organic cheese on a home made bun, and we can even throw in a side of those fresh crispy rosemary olive oil potatoes that you love all of which will give you a turbo boost for your game the next day?!"
UNREALISTIC?- Maybe, but a "healthy" girl can dream right?
FUN FACT: The history of candy dates back to ancient peoples who must have snacked on sweet honey straight from bee hives. The first candy confections were fruits and nuts rolled in honey.