Walking through Whole Foods, I feel like an alien. Most recently I asked where I could find the Chow Mein noodles. The nice man gave me a sympathetic and gentle look. "Are you looking for the crunchy ones?" Immediately sensing I was committing a whole food blunder, I fessed up. "Yes, but I am guessing they aren't considered a Whole Food?" He was then nice enough to show me the substitute.
When I married my husband 12 1/2 years ago, my diet resembled a toddler menu at a greasy spoon. I was lucky to eat a vegetable, any beverage I consumed was a soda and entrees were complete once smothered in cheese. A mass spam email was my first food awakening. It was about aspartame. I had just switched over to diet soda thinking it was the best way to tend to my slowly growing waistline. In my 21 year old mind, the heaping bowls of Shoepps Chocolate Chip Ice Cream before bed weren't contributing in anyway. Well, the message whether true or false sent home the message that chemicals in your food could be harmful. I never considered this fact. Discussing it with my husband and announcing I was only going to drink regular soda, he quickly pointed out high fructose corn syrup isn't natural. So with that I began weaning myself off of soda. It was a first step.
Many years later, 2 kids, several documentaries and discussions with health conscious people I have expanded my list to eliminate trans fat, high fructose corn syrup in as many things as possible, and my latest endeavor avoiding the antibiotics in food. Deciphering ingredient lists and taking it one battle at a time is helping me be mindful of food choices. Looking back, it is a huge leap from the girl who only ordered grilled cheese sandwiches.
For my kids sake, I wish I could have been more mindful of my food from the beginning. The unexpected result is they are taking this journey with me and learning about food as I do. Alex's questions and reflections while Jamie Oliver explained about pink slime in ground beef as we watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution filled me with excitement. Getting to explain to him knowing where your food comes from is the issue, not the ground beef empowered both of us in different ways. He is now asking about the food on his plate, and I am motivated to keep learning.
I am a ways off from feeling confident in Whole Foods or properly utilizing the farmers market. I am a new soul in strange world, and it is starting to feel a bit more like home.