Have you seen the movie Julie and Julia? Or read the book? Julie Powell became an internet celebrity with her 2004 blog recording her yearlong adventure cooking every recipe in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I am taking on a similar challenge, only I am blogging my way through a very healthy cookbook! And I will learn to master the art of healthy cooking! The book is called Eat For Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. I will cook every recipe start to finish in four weeks just as they are laid out in the book. I will write about the recipes, show you pictures, and tell you how my SAD (Standard American Diet) eating, carnivorous husband likes them too. (See archives below.) He is behind me 100%!!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Disease-Proof Your Child

Sometime around 1971 my Mom turned “Health nut.” As I remember it, that meant whole-wheat bread (or as we called it “brown bread”) instead of white bread, skim milk instead of whole milk, brown sugar instead of white sugar, and no packaged desserts or cereals. It was a big deal for 1971. We had to take BROWN bread sandwiches for our lunch at school with non-hydrogenated peanut butter. Try explaining that to your friends when you are 6 and it’s 1971. They thought I was nuts. I remember telling a classmate in the lunchroom that the baloney sandwich she was eating contained “cancer-causing nitrates.” I was like 9 years old! She called me a Liar. I was like, “NO—you don’t understand, my MOM told me this. It’s true!” She told the teacher and I got into trouble for causing lunchroom panic and lying.
My mother had another Health-nut house rule: dNo desserts unless you made them yourself, from scratch, and only on the weekend, and only if Mom said you could make something. d
It was becoming harder and harder for me to get my sugar fix. On Halloween I would stay out until I could not carry my candy-filled pillowcase another step. Then I would take 2 or 3 days to eat ALL of the candy until it was gone. Even the gross stuff that I didn’t like would eventually get eaten. Like the Candy Corns. (What on God's green earth are those by the way??) I would nibble all the chocolate off of the Mounds Bars and toss out the coconut part. (I hate coconut) Candy Cigarettes got eaten too. Those have got to be outlawed by now. I remember “smoking” mine before eating it. (And yes, I was a smoker too for many years.) I could eat a TON of sugar.
The sad part is I remember LOVING fruit as a child! I would come home from school grab an orange, some grapes or an apple and watch cartoons. And my Mom did her very best—she really did. We always had lots of fruit in the house, homemade meals, and big salads with every dinner. We all loved to cook—each person had a specialty. There were always homemade whole-grain breads—and no processed foods really ever. But still, there was that nagging sugar addiction...
To be continued…


Lorianne Jäntti said...

Eating few calories, as most whole, healthy foods tend to be, is good for grown ups but a child who's burning alot of energy and growing needs way more and that's where the sugar cravings kick in.

Banning dessert wasn't probably the best way to go, but to make healthier dessert alternatives regularly available. Things with dried fruits, honey and such.

You get your sweet fix and your calories more regularly so you wouldn't obsess over candy as you did which does more damage in the long run.

Still, I wish my mum had gone 'health nut', I was the little health nut in the family, much to the irritation of everyone else, as you might imagine.

Naina said...

You were a blessed child :) Dr. Furhman points out that much of the damage to our cells are done in childhood, due to poor diet. You are one up, on most Americans! Thank your Mother.

Jana Diedrich said...

Yes--we were really fortunate that my Mom made the effort to have healthy food for our family. She worked hard and we all loved the food. Thank you Mom!!

Wendy said...

OMG, I feel like we were separated at birth.

Jana Diedrich said...

Wendy--that's funny!! It is sooo nice to come here and find all of you like-minded people. People who actually want to hear what I have to say about food!! Thanks for reading...