I've been thinking about food a lot lately. Rather, thinking about how lucky our family is that we have access to, and know how to prepare healthy food.
I few months ago, we finally got around to watching Supersize Me, about the ghastly effects of fast food on our nation's health. J watched it again, at school, last month (actually needed a signed permission slip to watch it, uhg!). It brought up some interesting conversations with the boys. They were quite bewildered and shocked by how unhealthy the food was...and why anyone would eat it on a regular basis.
Yesterday, in light of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution season 2 beginning, we've started watching season 1. Again, very interesting. The boys had a lot to say about it this morning. They were thankful for the lunches they bring from home every day and thought it was crazy the types of foods that were regularly served on the show for school lunches. They couldn't believe that the family portrayed on the show would eat as unhealthy as they did. They were blown away when I told them that a large proportion on Americans do eat that way every day. They could not imagine it.
Since our change in diet almost 3 years ago, I can count on one hand how many times we've eaten out. I'm quite proud of how far we've come, because it wasn't always this way. I grew up eating healthy, homegrown, home cooked meals. It was a very rare treat to go out to a restaurant - something that was done for a birthday occasionally, or on trips. My mom raised a huge garden, canned the surplus, baked everything from scratch. We raised goats and chickens and ducks. My dad hunted for our meat - venison, duck, geese. We bought in bulk and rarely ate processed foods. When I moved out and went to college and started my own life, things slowly started to change. I worked in fast food restaurants, which meant a lot of free or cheap unhealthy food made up a lot of my meals. My (now) husband did the same. Our schedules were crazy busy, juggling multiple jobs apiece and school. Then we got married and had children. It just seemed that everything was always so busy and it was easier to just grab something quick from a restaurant. Couldn't think of something to cook for dinner? Well, let's grab burgers, or pizza, or fried chicken...
So, when my health declined so quickly and we subsequently found that we needed to drastically change the way we ate, it was a huge blow. I spent months crying nearly every day out of the frustration I felt - we couldn't have the foods we knew and were easy. There was a mental block for awhile there - I just couldn't think of anything we could eat anymore. Thankfully, I had my background to fall back on. Once I got my feet back under me, I was able to pick myself back up and do something about it. I looked at it as a challenge, an experience, an adventure. Sure I couldn't have x, y, or z anymore BUT, could I make it myself and make it healthy for us? By the time my boys joined me on this adventure of a diet, about 6 months after I'd started, I felt like I could do it. We are so much healthier for it. Not only did we cut out the foods that our bodies were reacting to, but in the process shed much of the processed garbage that has become so commonplace in today's society and on our plates.
Of course I miss the convenience sometimes, but I can honestly say there's not much I truly miss, food-wise. I'm thankful every day that we are able to live a healthier and more mindful life, even if it was an illness that had to open our eyes to it.