Eat Well if You Carrot All!

Monday, November 12, 2012 —

chicken soup croppedIt’s that time of year again when colds and flu bound into our households seemingly like any other holiday guest, but much less welcomed.  A thought occurs to me as I stir up the second pot of homemade chicken soup of the season — we really underestimate the healing power of food.  We live in a time of economic uncertainty with a constant murmur about health care plans and old folks and childhood obesity.  I cut up the carrots and think to myself, “How would the world be different if all our children were munching on bright orange carrots sticks instead of fire hot Cheetos?”

I think of my maternal grandparents and how difficult it must have been for unskilled, immigrant parents to raise ten children, primarily in the 1930s.  Although plenty of hardships came their way, God watched over their children, and they were healthy.  I have heard my mother say more than once, it was because they raised their own food.  My grandmother kept a large garden for vegetables and canned the excess for use through the winter.  They stored garden-grown potatoes in the cellar and chickens provided fresh eggs.  My grandfather raised and smoked their meat, and purified their spring water with natural techniques.  We have traded away our health in exchange for highly processed pseudo-foods that ruin our well-being over the long haul.  In order to correct the problems incurred by lack of real food, we attack our liver with man-made drugs.   Not that good food and pure water will cure all the world’s ills, but it would sure be a step in the right direction.

It is very difficult to make good choices when it comes to buying food.  With holiday celebrations around the corner, the temptations that lead us down the road of unhealthy eating and drinking are even greater.  Attractive packaging and convenience meals and snacks entice us away from good old fashioned cooking.  Sparkling soda catches our eye quicker in the grocery aisle than plain old water which comes from many reliable sources and is much cheaper.  We owe it to ourselves to reach for the stars – the five star fresh and wholesome selections.  Get back to basics and eat simple.  During the growing season we can find what we want at Farmers’ Markets and in backyard gardens.    But, anytime of the year we can find healthy choices in the produce section of the neighborhood grocery store — we just need to push our carts in that direction!  This year adorn your holiday table with festive fruits and vegetables in place of some of the typical sugary delights. Why not distribute attractive basketfuls of fruit and nuts as gifts instead of cookies, cakes, and candy?

In this time of insecurity, we can safeguard our family’s health and well being by eating smarter and encouraging other families to do the same.  As my mind wandered onto this train of thought, I asked myself, “Whatever happened to the White House Garden and Michelle Obama’s quest to raise healthier kids?”   I Googled it and found this link:  Regardless of our political persuasion, our First Lady has some great ideas to help us get started.  These ideas can be adapted to “kids” of all ages.  So if we “carrot” all about the kids in our lives, let’s heal our families one meal at a time.

(c) 2013 Patricia J. Angus

Originally published on November 12, 2012 at

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