Sunday, October 16, 2011

It doesn't run in the family.

As I finished slicing some tomatoes in half and sent them into the oven, my brother (also known as my roommate) walked into the kitchen.

"Look!" I said, proudly pointing to a carton of organic half-and-half on the counter. "I bought organic half-and-half for my homemade tomato soup." I rarely have dairy to begin with (because I'm mildly lactose intolerant), so purchasing organic dairy was new to me (with the exception of organic greek yogurt, when it's on sale).

The look on his face said he was clearly just as excited about this as I was. (...Okay, maybe not.) He nodded once, and then opened the freezer and pulled out a frozen pepperoni pizza.

The juxtaposition of my homemade tomato-with-organic-dairy soup with his frozen pizza made me laugh. A dark, defeated, I-wish-he-would-stop-eating-that-crap laugh, but a laugh nonetheless. I've given up converting my family.

I've had far more luck teaching my friends good habits than my family. I have friends who stopped drinking soda, increased their fruits and vegetables, and switched to whole grains. I have friends who even tried the meatless thing with me (hey, Alex!). But with my family, not so much.

They continue to consume Splenda and aspartame.

They continue to consume foods containing trans fat and a long list of chemical ingredients.

They continue to devote half the kitchen space to ice cream, chips, and other junk food.

They continue to consider corn as the vegetable of choice.

They continue to have an entire fridge full of a variety of sodas in the basement at all times.

I just want everyone to be healthy. :(

EDIT: So, I hated that the techies at Food Revolution chose to link to THIS blog post. This post was originally a frustrated and illogical rant, and while much of it contained my true feelings, I worded it poorly and exaggerated a few things that made me come off like a real pretentious idiot. :) Thinking about all the people reading it made me sick. I finally had to tweak it a bit. So if you notice a few parts of this post missing, that's why!

P.S. Check out my Pinterest for hundreds of healthy, meatless meals!


  1. BTW, the pizza was faaaaaantastic! :)

  2. This post makes me hungry for pizza... :)

  3. Pardon the devil's advocate, but:

    I don't think it's fair for you to expect everyone around you to change. You can't control their decisions, however poorly you think they are. You don't control how they spend their money or what they choose to stock in their kitchen.

    You CAN control what YOU eat and what YOU buy. If your family doesn't stock food you can/will eat, bring your own. Cook alongside your mom, without judging what she's making for everyone else. You grew up on the food she made you; it could be insulting to her if you just refuse to eat what she makes or don't go home because of it. Maybe some of your family will try a bite of what you made. Maybe they'll like it -- maybe they won't (you can't control that).

    I don't think it's fair to expect them to live their lives the way you choose and to not go home because they don't have food you can eat. I remember seeing a tweet of yours that said your mom commented that your food lifestyle is a burden to the rest of the family. If that's true, just bring your own food, then it won't burden them. I have family members with food allergies--they don't expect others to cook alternative meals for them, they just bring the food they can eat and cook alongside.

    I'm not trying to sound convicting, just trying to bring in an outside, less emotionally-charged perspective. Just live your life, and maybe those around you will take notice and want to make changes as well (as it sounds like they are starting...every step counts).

  4. Holli, I totally agree with you. The reason why it bothers me so much is because these are people I care about. I want so badly for them to be healthy, and it's heartbreaking to see my dad never go outside the boundaries of burgers and fries. At the end of the day, yes, I can only control myself, but that doesn't mean I can enjoy watching my loved ones consume the very things I'm fighting against.

  5. Just found your blog from Jamie Oliver's site. Good stuff, and I definitely feel you on not having family to support your "radical" changes to only eating real food.
    Another book to put on your list is "Perfect Health Diet" by Paul Jaminet. Very interesting read, and it approaches food from a nutritious/toxic standpoint to determine what we should really be eating to be as healthy as possible.

  6. @Douglas found my blog on Jamie Oliver's site??


    i actually found your blog searching food blogs, south dakota (i'm from SD, too)

  8. I hear you about dads. Holli has point though - the second people get defensive, they STOP HEARING YOU. And people get defensive in a hurry about food.

    I'm a vegetarian who loves her parents and did eventually see them change, v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y, here's the kind of thing that worked:

    Stories about people who changed something my parents wanted to change using diet (my mother has issues with fatigue, I told her about how people I knew got more energy from ditching refined carbs).

    Catching my father on the way to the kitchen for an English muffin with jelly and offering to cook him a meal - then serving sweet potato pan fries, organic scrambled eggs, and some sliced peppers because the man won't touch salsa.

    It's not politically correct. It's slow. I bring ingredients and cook with my mom. I tell my dad over and over why I think it works, how much I appreciate his trying new things for me, and I make him organic, free range meats - I haven't eaten meat in 12 years. I couldn't talk them into it - I had to make the change with them.

    And I found your blog from Jamie Oliver's site too :)

  9. Ohhh Great.. I Liked.