Good, wholesome, healthy, natural food has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up in a rural town on California’s north coast, fresh, local food was in abundance. I also lucked out with a family with a passion for gourmet food – and everything was made from scratch. (If not, you would dare not mention it!)
When I was little, I didn’t know the words “mac and cheese”. Instead I plugged my nose at the dinner table as I ate sauted chard with onions, raisins and sunflower seeds. It was the absolute worst to an 8-year-old, but now I couldn’t be more thankful to my mom for raising me with real, homemade food. Life wasn’t always this healthy though. My mom is also one of the best bakers I know. Most weekends I would wake up to the smell of cranberry orange scones, puffy Belgian waffles, or (my favorite) moist pumpkin muffins – as soon as the calendar said it was Fall.
As I mentioned, my mom is not the only cook in the family…my aunts and uncles are some of the most phenomenal chefs. Growing up with my family just blocks away, we enjoyed (and still do) gathering for any excusable reason to share our gourmet concoctions. I think it is safe to say we are all food snobs : )
I did not grow up eating much meat. In fact, my mom chose to stop eating red meat at age 17, and of course this affected how I was raised. Although my dad loves his steak, my mom never prepared red meat in our house. I am still confused to this day as how to classify my diet. I love a piece of fresh, wild fish every now and then and enjoy a slice of roasted turkey on Thanksgiving, but have no problem living without it.
Now, in my third year living away from home, I continue to eat real food. That is to say, I do not eat like your typical college student. I may be busy, and always “on the run”, but I am the Nutrition Nut afterall. My current diet is not as diverse as I would choose, but I attempt to create as much variety as possible. In addition, I always to try make my meals aesthetically pleasing . I think eating beautiful food enhances the enjoyment of eating. Incorporating color is also one of my theories to a healthy diet. This is easy for me to do as I love my veggies, but I would love to give suggestions to any of you that may want help with this. Eating healthy is a pleasure for me…not a chore. I fill my tummy with tofu, nuts, raw veggies, whole grains, yogurt, and hummus…but there is always room for something sweet. It’s a rare occurrence to go a day without some form of DARK chocolate.
Although my mission is to live the healthiest life I can, I do not deny myself of life’s pleasures. Sometimes the scale between the two isn’t perfectly balanced, but I constantly strive for that magical melody.
Rules I try to live by:
1. Add color wherever possible…this does not include Blue No. 1, Red No. 3, or Yellow No. 6
2. Don’t drink your sugar.
3. Avoid long ingredient lists.
4. Hydrate mostly by H20.
5. Be aware of your carbohydrate intake.
6. Avoid the word “artificial”.
7. Make your food beautiful.
8. Buy organic.
9. Simplify your dressings.