Why Does It Matter?
I grew up one of four children. My parents were both teachers. We always, with very few exceptions, had dinner together at the dining room table. My mother did not have a huge repertoire of foods that she cooked, but everything we ate was made from whole foods and by scratch. My father was a meat and potato guy, so if my mother made a vegetarian meal (before that was a “thing”), such as macaroni and cheese, my dad had to have a hamburger patty alongside his mac n cheese. (By the way, my mom’s mac n cheese was killer good!)
Working in my mother’s kitchen I learned how to cook a whole chicken, make eggplant parmesan (something my mother loved and we rarely had because dad was not a fan), pizza dough, breads, and more. We frequently had a simple but delicious salad with homemade vinegar and oil dressing. I am sure the chef I am today began in my mom’s kitchen.
Maybe that is why I am such a stickler for purchasing and eating natural ingredients only. I went to the grocery store with a friend the other day to pick up salad dressing (we were at their home for dinner). This “simple” errand frustrated me, as there are such few dressings that have good oil in them — not canola, soy or vegetable. The “natural” ones have bad oils.
Why does that matter? Ingredients that we put in our bodies that are not natural can create health issues and inflammation. Inflammation translates to weight gain, stomach problems, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), thyroid issues and the catch-all term autoimmune disease.
Why compromise with what you put in your body? Why spend five minutes reading labels? The next time you are at the grocery store and put something in the cart that is no bueno — ask yourself, “How do I feel today?” “Did I wake up this morning with energy, with my body feeling its best?” Maybe just that check into yourself will be enough to rethink that item. Take a few extra minutes and stick to the plan. Your body is worth it!
Eating natural foods, with no GMO’s, antibiotics or added sugars is important, and if you start to make the simple commitment to yourself, you may realize you will start to feel better!
Mom’s Homemade Salad Dressing
½ cup good olive oil
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp dill
3 Tbsp green olives
3 celery stalks chopped
1 tomato diced
¼ red onion diced
6 cups/3 heads romaine lettuce chopped
1 avocado diced
1 cucumber sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
** Mom always “eyeballed” the amount of oil and vinegar