In My Mother’s Words

Happy Mother’s Day!

I was recently going through my mom’s old computer and I found an essay she had written. At first I didn’t know it was written by her but as I continued reading, I realized that I recognized part of the narrative. This being Mother’s Day Weekend, I wanted to write something that would honor the memory of my mother so when I remembered this essay, it seemed perfect. I’m not sure when she wrote it but I believe it was an application essay for a Nutrition Course. Anyone who knew my mother know’s she was passionate about health and about learning (as you will see). This is not what I usually write about but I hope it will be as good a read for you as it was for me. Enjoy!

When a person lives beyond ninety years, we often wonder what their secret might have been. More often than not, the answer is in what they have been eating and drinking over the years, rather than what medication they have been on. My grandfather lived to the age of a hundred and twenty, and we believed he would have lived much longer, had he not put himself on a hunger strike. Looking back at the way he lived, I’m convinced that his eating habits and his lifestyle in general, had a lot to do with his longevity. My father-in-law is now ninety five, and looking at his lifestyle so far, I believe he still has more years to live. He walks at least seven miles every day, still reads, goes to bed early, and he also knows how to make herbal remedies for minor ailments, and teas for prophylactic reasons, as did my grandfather, and many others who lived those many years ago.
It is interesting how careful we are to see that our children get all the immunizations recommended by the Medical authorities. When we get sick, we go to great lengths, including searching the web, to make sure we are getting the right medicine, right dose and at the right frequency, all in pursuit of a long, quality life. Longevity has become a very popular word, and rightly so, but when we are hungry, many of us do not take half as much care what, how much, or at what time we eat.
The first time I heard the word ‘rich’ used to describe food, I was in a Home Science class in High School, and the subject was ‘Rich Cake Mixtures’. I asked the teacher why we called them rich, she just said that they are to be eaten sparingly because they could be fattening. I thought, and still think that it was an odd reason to use the word rich, because it gave a negative connotation to a good word. I wished we could change that and think ‘rich’ only of foods that are well balanced and whole.
Holistic health has been my passion for many years. In High School I decided that I would be a Physiotherapist mainly because the lady who talked to us about it, described it as, “ treating people without medicine”. Using exercise and soft tissue manipulation to help people out of bed, and back to work, sounded very appealing to me, and so I became a physiotherapist. Years later I learned both Reflexology and Aromatherapy. My family has benefited from these therapies, and my children even learned how to ‘press & soothe’ different parts of the hand or foot for relief of minor discomforts, and also to pick out different scents from essential oil blends. My daughter once asked, “how did we live before we knew Aromatherapy?” I have also had much satisfaction from the results I have witnessed with most of my clients.
However at the end of every session when I have talked with the clients about developing good health habits, I have often wished I knew more about food. I feel it is not enough to talk about fruits & vegetables, grains & nuts, without details. I want to know the actual nutrients in each part of the food, how the body reacts to too little or too much of any given nutrient, the best way to prepare different foods without loss of nutrients, and which health shortcomings are reversed by which nutrients.
My goal is to learn as much as I can about nutrition, and to practice what I learn so as to impart it into the lives of my children and grandchildren. I am very thankful that I found CCNH, where my insatiable hunger for Nutrition knowledge will be satisfied. I will confidently share with my clients and friends, and also in group meetings. Now I know I will be a better, and more useful parent, friend, and member of a society that embraces Holistic Health.
As the saying goes, “You are what you eat”.

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