We All Have a Food Story, Here’s Mine
I grew up in a family peppered with food stories, and secrets. Candy was sometimes a reward; cookies were there to hold my hand through deep loss, and a steamy bowl of my grandmother’s matzoh ball soup comforted me and made me feel cherished.
Yet, I was also taught that women were not really supposed to like food. Women should always be watching their weight.
Starting at age 11, it was commonplace for me to dabble in the latest diet trend, losing and gaining the weight back, going round and round in a never-ending cycle of diet success and failure.
As I became a teenager, I enjoyed cooking and experimenting in the kitchen, mostly with a diet focus. My first cookbook was called The No Fat, No Salt No Sugar Cookbook (doesn’t that sound dreadful?). Losing weight was always the goal.
In high school, my hippyish, health-food loving aunt came for a visit and showed me that food could be more than fat-free or diet-minded. She introduced me to “foreign” foods like brown rice and tofu, and the healing properties of each. I was hooked on the relationship between food and healing and the fact that food had more of a purpose than to think it was the enemy. Food could be nourishment.
My health-supportive cooking school and clinical nutrition education have allowed me to help many women find their way with food, healing, and making peace with their bodies. It has also allowed me to explore my own journey of health and wellness and put evidence into action. An overwhelming diagnosis of multiple sclerosis when I was 27 made me grateful to be in charge of my kitchen and, armed with information, ready to support my body with my growing knowledge of “food as medicine”.
Soon after, the babies came. Three of them, very close together (twins, and the third, less than two years later). Exhaustion, extra weight, stress, and a whole lot of mindless eating and drinking ensued to make it through the days. Although I knew a lot about healthy food and nutrition, I was losing my way. Soothing myself with food or wine was a deeply ingrained emotional eating habit, and it became crystal clear that the food stories I inherited as a young adult came back to take hold. Sugar and wine failed me every time and only left me more tired, with more weight and more frustration.