Food has always been a passion for me. Even I had the chance of visiting different places before, to start living in a new country brought me the excitement of being able to try new food varieties and the possibility of creating new dishes with them. And confrontation: realizing how blessed we were while living in the most fertile lands of Turkey. What a luxury to be able to bring the most delicious and fresh fruits and vegetables to our tables! As you all know, this beautiful city of Vancouver, is not only one of the most expensive cities of the world, it is also far from being able to provide us the goodies that we are used to.
Eventually, my unhappy and sometimes hopeless visits to the supermarkets started. I have very active two girls and as all the rest of the Turkish moms, I am pretty choosy about their nutrition. While people in the supermarkets were loading their carts with frozen food boxes, I started to pay tons of money to the fruits and veggies, of which I was not even sure of their freshness. Unfortunately, the result of my cooking was tasteless. Boxed food has been always a question. And there was this healthy eating fashion, even harder to understand. Many food items that I have never heard of were sold with extreme prices in Wholefoods, a store of a marketing genius.
At that moment, one other big question was: what to do with my life in Canada? That is how; I ended up starting my education about nutrition. I have learnt a lot, questioned a lot, I got depressed and felt hopeless. Not for the school, but for realizing how we managed to mess up this fertile planet and made it a toxic, almost unlivable planet. I felt depressed as a mom, as a human and a living creature. Finally, I achieved to made my own conclusions and synthesis that I started to share with everyone.
We mostly see act of eating as a necessity or a routine activity. However, our health, of which we are not too concerned until the minute we loose it, is in a very close relation with our health. Nutrition is not only chemically vital, the act of eating, in today’s fast world, is also socially and emotionally satisfactory process. Turkish people have the habit of being around the table for eating and we are blessed to have a food culture. The most important step of health eating is having a food culture as a society and the kids learning how to cook from their moms. It is very sad, if the society has a culture but it is not maintained. If today, Jamie Oliver and Michelle Obama are working on projects for healthy eating habits of kids, the reason is that the kids are not exposed to such culture at home.
Yes, the life is fast; there is no time to cook. Pizza is cheap and easily accessible alternative. We can sit in front of our favorite TV show with a slice of pizza, why to spend hours in the kitchen to cook?
You need to spend that time, to be able to sit around the table with your family, to live the satisfaction and happiness of being able to provide them, the food that is full of healthy nutrients.
You should spend that time, to have all family members, around the table, without their electronic devices, to set bonds with each other and the healthy food they are served. Because this is how their cells and souls will heal. Is there any other time that the whole family could be together during the day?
Slow down. We always see this motto everywhere. Because, the speed of life increases continuously. We are in such rhythm during day, we are not even aware that we breath, we move, the things we see, hear, and smell. Our senses are not given to us only to protect ourselves from danger. What is the last time, you actually experienced the bite in your mouth, that you generally try swallowing quickly? Its smell, its texture or taste and enjoy it thoroughly? Unfortunately, fast life, fast food and fast everything is stealing our life from us.
Yes, slow down and start this from eating. Let your dining table be the most important place in your home. Let your awareness be full around that table, open your heart, open your senses to your family and experiences. If you are alone, maybe not everyday, once or twice a week, organize food days with good music in the background. Cook, cook with your family, eat with your family and enjoy every bite. Share your table with your friends. Be thankful to find those foods and be conscious so that next generations can find the same food. Protect your food culture, live it and promote it and most importantly teach your kids to cook Turkish food. This is the biggest favor you can do to your kids and yourselves in path of healthy eating. Appreciate your dining table...