Posted on July 25, 2011
I wasn’t always so
neurotic passionate about food and nutrition. There was a time when I could easily down three bowls of Cap’n Crunch, blissfully unaware of the chemicals I was ingesting, and what the glucose was doing to my blood sugar levels. I also used to know every word to the Hanson MMM Bop album, and owned a pair of glittery teal jellies. I was the coolest. Ignorance really is bliss, isn’t it?
About two years ago, I guess you could say my family went through a bit of a medical rough patch. My Dad had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, and two weeks before he was set to go into surgery, my Mom fell and put her arm through a window, slicing a major artery. She was put into ICU for about a week. My parents were falling apart at the seams physically, and I knew it was only a matter of days until I deteriorated mentally. I remember sitting in my Mom’s hospital room while both her and my Dad were sleeping and I thought, what has happened here? Wasn’t it only last week that I was slurping down my Berry Cap’n Crunch milk, and my parents were my invincible heroes?
I got through those few weeks mostly because I was still in disbelief of what was happening, but I was also trying to be strong for a family whose leaders were sinking like rocks. In the following year, I alternated between pure elation that my family was simply alive (HEALTHY), and icky anxiety. Probably from my fear of going through something so traumatizing again.
It was the following summer when I began to climb out my my anxiety cloud, and read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food.
I read each page, intrigued, amazed, and excited to learn anything about the food industry. I had been kept in the dark for so long! Pollan’s book was the first of many for me in this genre. I just kept reading, reading, and reading. That box of Cap’n Crunch never looked the same.
I had found a sense of control in these books. There actually is a way to control your life’s fate. Maybe nutrition can’t control a freak accident, but it can certainly help keep your parents out of surgery for food related diseases. Food may not be able to cure cancer, but it can absolutely help slow progression of it. For me, it’s about vitality of life. If eating well can help my family live a longer life, you better believe I am going to shove veggie burgers in their face.
Don’t get me started on the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. I’m working on it.