Join Debbie as she raves about whole foods, rants about chemicals and generally celebrates cooking and eating with fresh, local, nutritious foods. And sometimes she might get a little feisty….
I suppose I can be over the top when it comes to the nutritional value of my meals, or pretty much anything that goes into my mouth (chocolate provides antioxidants, so you can stop your protests). I’m no saint, but I really do believe that you are what you eat and it’s important to be a role model for your children and pretty much anyone you dine with. Healthy is delicious and you never have to sacrifice taste for nutrition.
I blame — or, should I say, credit — my parents for this. They probably don’t get it, but as a whole, they were excellent role models. My mother never — never! — served us anything from a box. There were no convenience meals growing up; everything was from scratch. Sure, I got Doritos and Ring-Dings in my lunch every day, but hey, no one is perfect. Even the tuna noodle casserole and American chop suey were from scratch, for better or for worse.
One quirky thing about my mother that has stuck with me to this very day: she was always just a little weird about having something green on her plate. Sure, we’d tease her relentlessly growing up, when she had to steam some broccoli last-minute or microwave some peas just so we’d have the green, but we did, every meal. Thanks, mom. You probably didn’t realize what an amazing example you were setting with your obsessive compulsive behavior. The merits of a colorful plate being the pinnacle of nutrition is being celebrated by health gurus everywhere in the last few years; who knew my mom was so avant-garde!
My dad contributed to my enthusiasm for whole foods as well, but he took it a notch further when he brought gourmet cooking into my life. Goodbye tuna noodle casserole, hello lamb navarin! Since he kept getting completely sloshed at his monthly wine club meetings, he really had no choice but to learn to cook so they’d have some food to soak up all the booze they consumed. Glad he’s a lightweight, or I never would have found cooking.
So there you have it: my obsessive compulsive mother and my drunk of a father inspired my love for whole foods at a ripe and tender age.