My desire to be healthy goes beyond my career ...

It seems odd that foods and products with less ingredients, and less man-power to create, cost the most. Why? We can't "mass produce" Organic, natural foods quickly, unlike processed foods that are created in a lab with machines. Not only are Organic farms typically smaller than conventional ones, but they also, on average, take more time to produce crops because they refrain from using the chemicals and growth hormones used by conventional farmers. Foods are limited in quantity, so the demand is higher. Because clean eating is more expensive, we often opt for the less expensive items that are filled with toxins and chemicals (processed foods), to help lighten the pocket book. I know, I was there, too!

I didn't grow up shopping at Nordstrom, getting groceries from Whole Foods, or biking to the Farmer's Market. My parents could afford Mervyn's for back-to-school clothes shopping, we ate vegetables from a can, and casseroles that could last for 2-3 days as left-overs. It wasn't that they didn't care about our well-being. I never felt that I was deprived. I was filled with unconditional love, and endless support. I watched my Dad go to work at a manufacturing company at 5am Monday through Friday, never to stay home even when he was sick, which wasn't very often anyway. My Mom stayed at home, cleaned the house, made dinner and desserts, and was a Mom to all of my friends. I learned strong work ethic and dedication to family. As far as I was concerned, my plate was full. I was happy!

That full plate also included a lot of processed foods. Kool Aid and Fudgsicle's in the Summer, Twinkies and Ding-Dong's (best when frozen), cookies, Burger King, Pizza, Dr. Pepper. Most everything was processed. It was affordable, easy and tasty, and without internet and the resources that we are inundated with today, clean eating and nutrient dense foods wasn't much of a priority. My Mom did Weight Watcher's for years; it was all about the scale versus the nutrition. She drank Diet Tab (this is diet soda for you Millennials), Slim Fast, and ate Snack Well's. 

Today my sweet Mama has Type II Diabetes, Arthritis, and after years of Dementia, she has now been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She has battled high blood pressure, high cholesterol and Thyroid issues. I truly believe that some of these chronic diseases could have been prevented with a lifetime of healthy food choices. As a Mom to Brooklyn and Sklyer, I want to be around for years to watch my children grow and thrive. I want them to develop a palate and interest in foods that make them feel energized and vibrant. I want to continue to learn about how foods can heal the body naturally. This is certainly a new way of thinking for me, and I can't express enough how much more energy I have, and how much healthier I feel by making shifts in my nutrition. I do believe in moderation, however, and that indulging now and again is good for the soul. Foods are an emotional part of us, and can take us back to a special memory. For me, it's a scoop of Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream on a sugar cone from Baskin and Robbin's. It reminds me of my Mom and I, and it makes my heart smile. So, while eating healthy may cost you a few extra dollars, it could also give you a few extra years of life. Just making small changes in the food choices for you and your family can be life changing. It certainly has been for me.

My Mom on her wedding day, circa 1950 ...

My Mom and I in 1976 ..

My Mom hasn't lost her ability to laugh until she cries .. we love this about her :)