Healthy or unhealthy food choices…why do we do the things we do?
I had the pleasure of meeting one of my online classmates today via
a telephone call. Our conversation was so natural, it was as though
we had known each other forever!
One of the topics we discussed was about our programming. You know,
how we were raised by our parents, the things they taught us from
an early age. It’s why we do the things we do the explanation. It made me think about when I was little and the various things my parents and grandparents taught me that are still with me today. Some are healthy food choices and some are unhealthy.
Are you ready to be a parent?
Listening to the stories told by my grandma I sometimes wonder if
my parents were ready to be parents. It seemed that my dad was always jealous of my grandma. Doesn’t that seem just a little weird to you? You see, dad worked nights as a taxi cab driver when I was born. I guess he didn’t really make enough money, because grandma drove 30 miles one way to bring them groceries, fresh vegetables, and fruits.
Mom must have been stressed out being a new mom because I was very
colicky and cried all the time. One night grandma brought the
healthy food down and because I was crying non-stop she laid down on the bed, with me across her stomach. We all fell asleep. When my dad got home from work he was furious that my grandma was there and worse yet, he wanted to know why my mom wasn’t taking care of me instead of grandma!
Sure seems like he would have been appreciative for the healthy food, don’t you think? Instead, because he was stressed out over not earning
enough income he lashed out at the very one trying to help out.
Are you humble enough to accept help?
Throughout the years’ grandma continued to help out our family. When
it was time for me to attend Kindergarten she offered to have me
live with her. There was not a class in our area, but there was one
in grandma’s area. Since she lived 30 minutes south of our home town, it only made sense for me to live with her during the school year.
My mom was happy that I was getting to attend school, I’m not so
sure about my dad. I remember one particular time when grandma
brought me home for the weekend and it was not a great memory. As
grandma was driving out of the driveway to go home, I started to
cry…I wanted to go with her…to my home. My dad was furious and
spanked me all the way into my bedroom, without dinner. Years later
grandma told me that was the hardest thing for her to watch in her
rearview mirror, but she had to keep driving…he was my dad.
The pattern that was set in motion.
Over that year what I learned as a small child was that as an
individual child I didn’t matter. Life was hard for my dad, he had
5 children to provide for and he worked hard. He hated his job at
the mill but it provided the money he needed for the mortgage, to
clothe us and feed us all.
We dared not complain about the food mom made for meals, it was
what they could afford. Nutrition back then was not at the top of
their priority list. They were more concerned with buying foods
that would fill our bellies. Foods like mashed potatoes and
hamburger gravy, spaghetti and bread and butter. Fried eggs and
bacon with toast and butter, peanut butter sandwiches and potato
chips for lunch.
As we grew up the menu didn’t change much. Mom always worked, ran
the kids to 4-H, swim
out! She wanted to fill our stomachs and get on with the program
for that day.
Now, I’m not complaining. But this I can tell you. One of the main
reasons for my unhealthy food choices today stems way back to my
childhood and the patterns my parents and grandparents set for us
Lessons learned and patterns changed
As I grew up and was exposed to other family’s meals I saw there
were more options, other food choices to choose from. One of my
friend’s mother always offered fresh vegetables and green salads at
every meal. I loved green salads, but our family couldn’t afford
them very often, so we had canned vegetables instead.
When I got married, cooking reverted back to what I knew and was
comfortable with. Packaged, prepared foods like Hamburger Helper,
chili bean mix, mix this mix that…everything was processed, quick
and easy! It wasn’t until my husband lost his job and I got sick
that I started to look at our unhealthy food choices and the meals we were giving our family.
When we were introduced to nutritional supplements and we slowly
made changes even further. Cutting out the packaged, processed
meals and replacing them with fresh ingredients not only was
cheaper, but it also tasted a whole lot better…it had flavor.
Our grocery bill was cut in half, my skin cleared up, my kids
slimmed down and their energy went up. I started to sleep better at
night, hubby even shed a few pounds.
Old dogs can learn new tricks
To go from eating frozen pot pies that are yummy, but high in fat
and sodium to eating fresh chicken, a green salad, fresh vegetables, and an iced tea was a huge change for me. I had been trained up by
working women who were busy, too busy to worry about balanced meals and meal planning all the time. Fix it, shove it in and go…that
is how I grew up.
But…it only takes one loving, caring friend to show you the error
of your ways. Someone who will guide you and not judge you because
they care about you, they want to have you around for a long time.
By taking the time to plan your meals, buy fresh foods to make
meals from scratch and use the right supplements you can stop those
old bad habits and start a new fresh way of living.
It won’t happen overnight, at least it didn’t for us. Change is a slow process, but isn’t your health and your very life worth it? Think about your health in the next week, next year, even five years from now. If you don’t start making healthy food choices now, tomorrow may be too late. It is never too late to teach an old dog new tricks.
Share this information and these stories with someone you care
about. You might help someone get their energy back, rid themselves
of PMS or allergies. Who knows you might even help them prevent
degenerative disease like cancer, heart disease, stroke or many others.
Here to Serve,
Carla J Gardiner
p.s. love to hear what you thought…share your comments below