One thing my diet and my writing have in common is that I’m sort of obsessed with both of them. A few years ago, I became interested in food and health and how they were connected. This started after I learned my oldest son had some food allergies and I had to start carefully reading the labels on everything. When he was younger, he was extremely allergic to milk, so I had to check every single food I bought to make sure it didn’t have milk in it. It sounds simple enough, but I soon learned that milk could be called a dozen other things on labels such as casein or whey (milk proteins) or lactose (milk sugar).
All the label reading got me looking up ingredients on the internet to make sure they weren’t milk related and learning a lot about what some of the other ingredients actually are in food. Then after a few members of my family got cancer, I started reading some books on food and illness – how food can both cause and prevent disease. The end result: I’ve become a little obsessed with organic/all natural foods and fruits and vegetables. And I really believe that old adage, that you are what you eat.
Knowing about my food obsession, and having become obsessed herself, my sister, a few years ago, bought me a book for my birthday called The Organic Cook’s Bible by Jeff Cox. It basically goes through every single ingredient/fruit/vegetable and tells you why the food is better for you if it’s organically grown and sometimes harmful for you if it’s not. Let me just say that after reading that book I will never eat certain non-organic/non-US grown fruits/vegetables again. Seriously, I’m actually terrified of some of them.
So my kids have never seen the inside of a McDonald’s or eaten a real hamburger or a real hot dog. I’m pretty sure they don’t know what soda is. But they do like spinach and hummus and broccoli. One of the first words my oldest son learned how to read was the word “organic” because he saw it on nearly everything in our refrigerator, and I drive out of my way to go to Trader Joes and Whole Foods every week rather than just drive five minutes to the traditional supermarket.
It’s not that I never eat anything bad for me or not organic. I think anything is fine in moderation. And I do like to go out to eat. But on a day to day basis I am an organic salad/organic chicken/organic fruit kind of girl. When I’m writing, none of this really changes, except I do like to drink coffee or green tea, organic, of course!