Everything I know about food and smart eating habits I learned from my mother. I spent the Fourth of July with my family this past weekend, and every time I head back home, this nutritionist gets a nice, quick refresher course. Nope, my mom isn't a health professional, she's never dieted once in her life, she's not nutty about certain 'good' or 'bad' foods (though she loves her cottage cheese...and her chocolate!). She does however, tap into her hunger cues, stock the fridge with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, eats when she's hungry throughout the day and eats normal, real foods...in the right-sized portions for her specific body.
Ok, slight disclosure: she's got a kicking metabolism that could put a high-speed race car to shame, but she's smart about what she eats and she's active. My guess is that from the time of my birth, her habits and the habits she instilled in my family have been a major influence on my own views around eating and food -- whether I realized it or not. And no, we were not a family of super health-food-freaks. There was often a stash of ice cream in the freezer and snacks (healthy and not-so-healthy) in the pantry. The current status of my parents' kitchen leans more on the healthful-side these days, but it's quite likely to find some type of homemade baked goods (this weekend it was my grandmother's recipe for ridiculously good brownies) in the freezer. And the amazing thing is if I go home in 2 or 3 months, a few of those brownies will probably still be there. Blasphemy to think they wouldn't be gobbled up within a week. Many of us can barely bake a batch of cookies without devouring them in a matter of days (thank goodness for coworkers...or the trash can--think back to Sex and the City, Miranda's chocolate cake fiasco).
So maybe it's a generational difference? Maybe our parents and grandparents weren't inundated with shelves of high-calorie snacks, prepared meals, packaged and processed goods and they weren't confused by too many fad diets, supplements and quick-fixes to count? There's something to be said for good, basic food.
So Mom, I've got to give you a small shout out...because when I open up my fridge brimming with colorful fruits and veggies, a hunk of good parmesan cheese, the infamous cottage cheese and yogurt, and other fresh foods, I've got you to thank.