Saturday, February 7, 2015

My Discovery of Nutrition

     For my assignment in College Writing class this week, I need to complete a journal writing on
what I have chosen for my final essay. The topic I have chosen is Nutrition. My goal is to incorporate in this essay how I discovered the importance of proper nutrition, by what means I have and continue to incorporate in it my life and the role it has played in bringing me to where I am today.
     I feel it is important for my story to reflect back on my childhood and discuss what food was like when I was young. Growing up in the 60's – 70's, we were not taught about nutrition and I don't remember that word even being spoken. Other than “eat your carrots, it will help you see better” or “sugar will rot your teeth”, there wasn't any other mention of what a proper diet was. It was very important to eat what was placed in front of you and not to waste your food. My grandparents knew what it was like to go hungry and it was engrained in our minds how lucky we were to have food to eat. Honestly, I never felt really bad about leaving food on my plate as we had Irish Setters who were fed all of our table scraps along with their dog food. So nothing ever went to waste.
     Going to a restaurant or eating out was reserved for special occasions; such as birthdays or other celebrations. Once in awhile, we were able to get a burger and root beer from the Hires located down the street. Back then you couldn't just drive through, you had to park, order and they brought your food out on a tray. As a child is was fun for me to push the big orange button on the screen as soon as my dad was ready to order. We would then take our food to the drive-in theater across the street. Once we were there, my dad would put the seats down in the back of our old blue Ford station wagon. My sister and I would then make a bed in the back using our sleeping bags, blankets and pillows. It was a mini picnic inside the car. All while we were preparing, the smell of the burgers, fries and sauces made our mouths water and we could hardly wait for the first taste. Each bite was savored as we did not know how long it would be before we had such another decadent treat again.
     Meat and dairy were the main staple of our diet and we didn't know anything about the suffering or cruelty of animals. In fact, I didn't learn about factory farming until I was in my late twenties. My dad was an avid hunter so most of the meat we consumed was from the wild. Even though I am a vegetarian now, I still believe this was the more nutritious option. Moose burgers or chili, elk steaks, venison and even antelope were common at our house. Instead of chicken we mostly ate pheasant or some other small bird. This was never my favorite part of the meal but I ate it in small portions.
     As a teenager, I learned any creativity in the kitchen from the most popular and widely available, Betty Crocker Cookbook. White flour, white sugar, eggs and milk were almost always the main ingredients of any treat or bread. Now that I know there was never really a “Betty Crocker” our food system and diets seem so contrived and controlled. But at least we learned how to cook and had home-made meals as a family every night.
     I believe that my parents did the best they could with the knowledge they had at the time. They worked hard and never allowed us to go hungry which was the most important thing. And I am eternally grateful.
     Our food system and the way we eat has changed so much since then. In a lot of ways for the worse but some for the better. Today there is more knowledge readily available for those who want to incorporate proper nutrition in their diets. It also seems like more and more people are becoming aware of its importance. I am looking forward to sharing my journey and what I have learned with everyone.

REMEMBER... You Are What You EAT.  

Namaste,  Beci :)

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