Wholesome, healthy, natural food has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Growing up in a rural town on California’s north coast, fresh, local, organic food was in abundance. I also lucked out with a family with a passion for gourmet food, where everything is made from scratch. If not, you dare not mention it!
When I was little, I didn’t know the words “mac and cheese”. Instead, I plugged my nose at the dinner table as I ate sautéed chard with onions, raisins and sunflower seeds. It was the absolute worst to an eight-year-old, but now I could not be more grateful to my mom for raising my brother and I with real food.
Life wasn’t always this healthy though. My mom is also a baker with high remarks amongst family and friends. Most weekends as a kid, I would wake up to the smell of buttery raspberry almond scones, a puffy, apple German pancake, or moist chocolate chip pumpkin muffins.
As I mentioned, my mom is not the only cook in the family. My aunts and uncles are phenomenal chefs. Growing up with my family just blocks away, we enjoyed (and still do) gathering for any reason to share our gourmet concoctions. I think it is safe to say we are all food snobs.
There wasn’t much meat in our house growing up. My mom chose to stop eating red meat at age 17, and not surprisingly, this affected how I was raised. In the Spring of 2010, I decided to stop eating poultry altogether; I am currently eating a pescetarian, but mostly vegetarian, diet. It’s not definite that my diet will not change in the future, but I am happy and healthy living sans inhumanly-raised birds with bigger breasts than mine.
I try to make my meals aesthetically pleasing, as I think eating beautiful food enhances the enjoyment of eating. Incorporating color is also one of my theories to a healthy diet. This is easy for me to do as I love, love, love vegetables. Eating healthy is a pleasure for me, not a chore. Although my mission is to live the healthiest life I can, I do not deny myself of life’s pleasures. With each new day, I enjoy the messy, yet satisfying, balancing act of crunching kale and making cookie crumbs.
“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”
Updated March 2015.