I had the best conversation with my Fabulous NY Best Friend the other day. She asked me how I was feeding my son, and I replied that it was hard because even though I want to feed him food that is totally nourishing, alive, and preventative, he goes to school where he eats other kids’ lunches including “hot dogs” which basically made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. But I reasonably stated that I can only control what I can control, and that if he was going to be a part of the outside world, he’d be exposed to other food and I just kind of have to let that go.
To which my wise and intelligent friend responded, “Natalie, I have heard so many Moms say that recently. The whole, ‘I can only do what I can do’ thing.” At this point she got really passionate. “WHEN WILL WE LEARN THAT FOOD IS THE REASON WE GET SICK AND START TEACHING OUR KIDS THE TRUTH! WHEN WILL WE COMMIT TO NOT GETTING SUCKED IN TO “BEING REASONABLE” AND STAND FOR OUR KIDS’ HEALTH?!”
Damnit! She was right! If my kid is eating stuff that’s clogging his cells 3 days a week at school, that’s too much! But I don’t want to be the annoying, extremist parent who makes everything difficult for everyone else, and seems anal and angry. Then I had to look in the mirror. I AM extreme. I’m extreme because in order to get back to a place where we experience total health we have to go to measures that seem extreme from where our civilized culture stands. Every time someone says “I eat pretty healthy,” I cringe because “pretty healthy” by our cultural standards still gets you cancer, heart disease, diabetes, infertility.
Being “reasonable” about food doesn’t make us healthy. In fact, it just makes us sitting ducks for disease, colds and flu’s, depression, and addiction. We’ll have to acknowledge at some point the serious addiction to food we have and then deal with it. But guess what? The obesity epidemic, the diabetes epidemic, the outrageous amounts of kids on anti-depressants….it’s not enough yet. It’s not enough for our country to get on board with acknowledging that until we let go of highly processed foods including meat and dairy, we’ll continue to lose our lives prematurely. It may not be today or tomorrow, but without a doubt, the food we eat today will give us the health or the lack of health physically, mentally, emotionally that we have in the future.
So after my phone conversation with my girl, I gained a voice. A voice that is not attached to dogma, but IS attached to my kid knowing that chips, cookies, pretzels, ice cream makes us weak and sick, and fruits and vegetables, and their juices, make us strong, healthy, vibrant, smart, clear headed, and happy. It’s about allowing him to make choices in food and then helping him connect the dots of how that food makes him feel internally. It’s about reconnecting to my kid, to the connection between food and health, to nature, to the truth. And then standing for it!