The function and art of food has been a part of my life since I was a small child. My mother when she got married did not know how to cook and bought The Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. This culinary adventure started her on a gastronomic tour of France in the kitchen of our home outside of Boston from which I benefited greatly, our fridge was loaded with vichyssoise in clay pitchers, wheels of soft brie from France and sharp crumbly cheddar from New Hampshire, bitter endive to be served with mustard, and homemade hash. We knew how to make all the French sauces from hollandaise to béarnaise. She dragged my sister and I to the fish shop for our obligatory Friday night fish (we were catholic) to the bread bakers for Jewish rye and Portuguese sweet bread. She would drive far out of the city to butchers with buildings on a barren field that sported pig heads on the counter wearing straw hats and a pencil stuck behind their ear. She never minded if I made a colossal mess in the kitchen while thumbing the pages of my first French cook book for children. I was hooked on food.
My father on the other hand, although not a great cook would be considered today to be an “eatie.” His love of all kinds of food led me down the path of salt cod, kippered herring, tripe, sweet breads (I thought I was ordering coffee cake), navigating whole fish (complete with knowing eyes), big sausages served by fat German men with blood on their aprons standing on a floor covered in sawdust, to restaurants down quiet streets where women were quickly ushered upstairs past the rubenesque oil painting of a naked woman over the bar, where the order was taken by an attentive waiter in a tux in quiet whispers. I had my first glass of white wine in these restaurants served up alongside my whole fish.
Although I love cooking I am far more of an eatie than a foodie, following in the trail of my father who exposed me to fine dining at its best and fine food served in questionable establishments. I loved every adventure we took through the streets of Boston, and today I continue to eat and search out places to dine in memory of him.
Yes, I live by nutrition.
What I did not know was that food was changing at lightning speed, and even though I was still eating and cooking in the way I was brought up. I was unaware that the structure of food was taking a dramatic turn that caused all sorts of health issues for me and my children. I believed I was procuring the best food for my family at the local grocery store and I thought it was safe and nutritious. However, in roared pesticides, herbicides, farm raised fish that never saw the ocean, animals fed hormones to increase milk production and fatten their flesh, extreme hybridization and the final blow of Genetically engineered foods.
This left me with a compromised immune system, leaky gut resulting in persistent infections and constant antibiotic use. Unfortunately my children suffered the consequences and arrived early, needing monitoring, were labeled with things like failure to thrive, extreme colic, or the worst comment of all “ we don’t know why your child is suffering” with chronic migraines, bowel problems, hydro nephrosis of the kidneys, and the list goes on.
The whisper sounded like this…could it be the milk you are feeding your children? From a wise friend. “Have you tried adding this or taking this out”. “Would you consider joining our food coop to get food from local farmers.”
Throughout this time, despite growing up in New England with ticks everywhere, I was not strong enough to fight off the bacteria from a teeny tiny tick. Leaving me to fight a war called late stage disseminated Lyme disease for 16 years.
Every time I heeded the whisper the children and I got stronger, healthier, thrived. It required cooking a lot, shopping everywhere, asking questions, finding sources of food that did not contain things in them I did not understand. Continuing to trust these wise women that had forged the path before me, there was no internet back then…just them.
I finally put to rest that disease in 2008 through superb nutrition, rest, and whole food supplements. But I wasn’t done, I wanted to research, educate, and whisper to other woman about what I had discovered in my long discourse with food. “You can do this” I would say, “It will be fun” . Let me help you.
Thus, Living by Nutrition was established in 2009. I seek to nudge, inspire, and nurture you to want to seek out the very best in food for you and your family. I want you to revel in what food tastes like, explore all the possibilities of what it can do for you, and finally understand that food can be like medicine.