One of my favorite people in the whole world also happens to be my younger sister. (We are almost exactly 8 years apart- with a brother directly in between). I can remember being elated when my parents informed me they were having a girl. Don’t get me wrong, I love my brother to death, but you can only play “dress up,” with your brother, to a certain extent (and boy did I take advantage of that). Ironically, and to my dismay, my beautiful baby sister was the farthest thing from girly. But I still adored her. Even when I didn’t.
Like any big sister, I’ve always wanted her to know how awesome she is. Now, years later, “awesome” has a whole new meaning… especially in more recent years, as a nutritionist.
For the past 14 months, I made it my goal to educate my “fast food” family on how to eat great, feel wonderful, and cough, cough, use them as guinea pigs for all of my fun recipes. I love my sister to death, and only want the best for her. It is for this reason that it was important for me, that my family, and sister, see the benefits of nutrition. (Nobody wants to see their loved ones ill).
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” -Lao Tzu
What I learned, from both my sister, and others in the blogging community, including HEAB, is that it is so important for everyone to acknowledge, that teaching anyone anything of great value is not something that is supposed to immediately flip a switch. Teaching my family, and sister, about proper nutrition, was never an overnight occurrence. It is even more important to refrain from beating yourself, or others, up, if they (and you) don’t change overnight… heck! It may take a few years!! Learning to eat healthy was, and is, a transition (for me too!). We grew up on pasta, soda, pizza, Burger King, Arby’s, soda, fish sticks, taco nights, soda, and ice cream. I do not expect anyone to give up there favorite foods over night– the same goes for my clients. That being said, the way my family’s eating habits have changed, in those months, have been drastic. My sister knows more about nutrition than any 15 year old, I know. And even though she’ll grin, and tell you otherwise, it was something she decided to do for herself. Remember that, when working with yourself, and your loved ones. When you set a healthy example, others will follow. Gena is a shining example of this.
With that being said, I wanted to let you read her high school essay, entitled: ”Living with a Nutritionist”– an over exaggeration, of course, but quite silly. I also added in pictures of some of the culinary delights she does enjoy, when I am around to fix them (Oh. By the way, this essay was something I suggested).
English II, Period 7
March 11, 2010
Living with a Nutritionist
A loud familiar noise grinds away in the kitchen… I open my eyes and feel around the Egyptian cotton sheets. Something cold, my phone. Pulling it closer, the time reads 7:02 am. Tugging the white sheets back over my head, I try to doze back off to sleep, but the juicer has already awakened me.
Living with a nutritionist has its ups and downs.
It starts in the mornings, with the machine that pulverizes all her vegetables into a green soupy drink, making its impossible to sleep in. Besides the green mixture staining the cabinets, and the counter, it just looks down right disgusting.
Mornings are impossible to enjoy.
Eventually, my hunger leads to getting up, and I join her in the kitchen. Reaching for the refrigerator door, I wonder what I’ll have for breakfast. By now I know what is available to eat. To others, however, the lack of dairy products, meat, beverages, etc. can be frightening. If you want cereal, you can choose from a big variety of “Barbara’s puffins,” or “Oat Flakes”, but unless you want to eat it dry, the choices are almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk. There is even milk made from hazelnuts.
White bread cannot be found in the pantry. However, we do have oat bagels, and sprout bagels to choose between. No cream cheese means the bagel is either plain, salted, or has a little bit of organic butter spread on top. Organic eggs can be prepared with goat’s cheese. No bacon, or sausage, can be served on the side though. My favorite breakfast is the smoothie she makes with one frozen banana, four large strawberries, and water. If you have survived breakfast with a nutritionist, good– there is much more to come.
Hope you are not thirsty. The refrigerator only holds water, water, and more water. There is no soda, Gatorade, milk, juices, etc. If it’s cold, hot chocolate can be made, consisting of cocoa powder, stevia, and hot water. If the weather is nice out, she may squeeze a lemon into ice water, and add some stevia– wah-la! a lemonade icy is on the menu.
Living with a nutritionist means acquiring a taste for water, and many more “yummy” things.
Its lunchtime now, and there is not any deli meat in the refrigerator. A salad can be tossed together, but there is no dressing, other than organic balsamic vinaigrette. I am not a huge fan of vegetables, mainly because they dominate the refrigerator. If you like vegetables though, well then there is an endless supply, being that the nutritionist may, or may not, live at the nearest Whole Foods, and the nearing Health Food Shoppe. I have gone to both grocery stores with her before. Besides the fact that she acts like she is in heaven there, all the employees, and her, are on a name-to-name basis. It gets a little awkward for me, when they see me eyeing the cookie, and the snack aisle...
Glancing at the clock it is around 3:50. Not yet dinnertime, but it seems like I ate lunch ages ago. Walking into the pantry, no pretzels, no chips, no… anything. I sit down with a bag of carrots and reach for the hummus in the refrigerator. Snack time is disappointing when you were expecting to eat a cookie but get stuck with something healthy in your hand. Healthy never seems to satisfy me. Now, I am not hungry, just bored. I find myself opening all the drawers ajar. Consuming a little chocolate, and some candy I have stashed, anything I can get my hands on.
5 o’clock, and it is time for work. After arriving, I am surrounded by pizza, white bread, and chicken fingers. All within my reach. Sometimes I can withstand eating the brownies in the kitchen Alex makes me, or the buffalo pizza Homero makes, prepared special, just for me, but not today.
Other nights for dinner the meals are kamut pasta, vegetables, eggplant parmesan, not fried of course, etc. Even though she is a vegetarian, sometimes she will make me, and my mother, blackened fish, or chicken. She will not be eating the same thing as us though. Although I miss eating fried chicken, french fries, hot dogs, etc. I know that twenty years from now, living with a nutritionist will have majorly helped prolong my health. My sister rarely gets sick, because her immune system is so strong. I, like her, will not need medicine to get better. I can be younger, longer. Living with a nutritionist ensures that I will have a healthier future.
I am proud that she can control herself from eating that brownie I may bring home from work. She has amazing self-control. If I were faced in that situation, it would not be long until I gave in, and munched on the brownie, or whatever the tempting piece of food may have been. Sometimes I eat healthier, but I do not have the self-control she has. To be honest I would rather be fat, happy, and enjoy that pizza, rather than be thin and just look at the pizza, instead of being able to indulge in it’s scrumptiousness. I love food.
Living with a nutritionist makes it difficult to eat what I want, but it keeps me healthier. She has taught me how to eat in the right combinations, what is actually healthy, and what is fake healthy (like dairy products, and peanut butter). I enjoy living with nutritionist most of the time, even when she sometimes looks at me funny for eating some really junky food. Living with a nutritionist has it’s ups and it’s downs.
When she sent this in, I was terrified they would call DYFS! We do have chips (the good and the bad) in our pantry, and Kashi Cookies, Zevia (Soda sweetened with Stevia), Chocolate, oh… and she happens to enjoy the healthy meals, and pizzas I used to be able to whip up for her (when I lived at home). Check out some of her lunches here! I must say, I am so proud of her. She has really helped me learn how to become one of the most effective nutritionists, that I can be. She says I have control? I am so impressed that she doesn’t always finish her plate of cheese raviolis, when we dine out. She knows when she is full. I love food too. I may drive off the road, in sheer excitement, in passing a Whole Foods. I can whip up raw coconut ice cream, and raw chocolate pudding, devouring them with delight… and going back for a second, and third helping. I look at her funny when she eats something blatantly terrible for her, because like clockwork, she will need to lay down, or she’ll have an awful headache moments later. No one wants to see someone feel bad! And do not let her fool you for a second, as she will always return the favor, rolling her eyes at me for snacking on a few, too many, sunflower seeds, and then complaining of a stomachache. Hey! No one is perfect.
Love you B!
I hope you enjoyed this unique posting. I must say, I laughed out loud when I read her essay for the first time.
What did you think? Would you like to hear from her at a later date about what she really does enjoy? How her diet has changed? What benefits she has experienced? And perhaps suggestions on how to get kids to eat better, and why it is so important?