One of the best things we can do for our loved ones is introduce healthy lifestyle choices and behavior to them. A few years ago I was in a very bad place with my parents. I didn’t feel the my emotional voice was being heard, and if it was being heard it was being ignored or punished. I went through a stage of not being close with any of my family. My older brother had moved out, my younger brother and I were never not fighting, and my parents were making me feel abandoned and callous. I think I personally turned to food for comfort and because I have a snail like metabolism and I was curvy to begin with I gained weight fast. I was not working out and I was not dealing with my problems on the inside or outside.
One day I was sitting with my therapist and she said to me that I would only get out of relationships what I put into them. So I began to only put love into my relationship with my youngest brother. I sat him down one day and explained to him how much he meant to me and that I would always be there for him. And from that point on I was. It’s simple to show how much you care for someone once you accept the part of you that wants to be selfless around them. Indulge that side of yourself.
A hug part on me caring for Jacob, my younger brother, is showing him ways to take care of himself both physically and emotionally. I do my best to introduce him to food in ways I think he will like them. My parents rule when I was growing up was that you were forced to eat things you didn’t like in the way you didn’t like it, rather than adapting the food to your taste pallet. They are getting better though, barbecuing more vegetables, vegan stews, different forms of salad. For Jacob I know I need potatoes in his veggie stir fry and Spanish rice mixed in with anything green. I put spinach and cucumber in his smoothies and don’t tell him till after. When I have tea he has tea and when I make myself food I make enough for him to at least try some.
I do not prepare meat for my family because of my personal beliefs, but I encourage my mom and dad to eat more fish and chicken if they do eat meat.
To me, if you care for someone that goes along with their well being. Would I buy my best friend a pack of cigarettes? Would I give Jacob alcohol? Would I encourage my peers to drive intoxicated? No. so why would I feed into the fast food, easy food, pre packaged scandal of a food industry we have created. I show my love in many different ways and my menu of life is one of them.
I consider myself someone who is filled with love. I need to show and tell about it all the time. I’m still that person from the 1950’s who takes food to new neighbors, I love potlucks, making dinners for friends, breakfast after sleepovers is a must, and thanking someone for a meal they shared with me. Food is just another opportunity to show someone how much you care. Care well and care with good healthy choices.