Little Mama On The Prairie

A life and weight-loss journey.

My relationship with food…

on February 11, 2013

I survived another weekend and made sure to carefully track my food. There were a few indulgences, seeing as we were invited to dine with friends of ours who always make fantastic meals, but I made sure to record each bite and I know right where I stand this sunny Monday morning.

I love food. I love GOOD food. Food has played a pretty major role in my life. I grew up as the youngest in a family of 10 children, our kitchen table was huge, we cooked in really big pots and had an enormous water pitcher on the table for meal times. I can remember feeling like I had to hurry and eat my plateful if I wanted any chance at seconds, with 4 older brothers at the table too. My sisters taught me to cook and bake at quite a young age. I can remember going to friend’s house when I was 8 or 9, we were bored so I suggested we bake cookies. I was shocked beyond belief when she told me she wasn’t allowed to use the oven. Even at that age, I couldn’t imagine not having freedom in the kitchen.

We entertained a lot in our home as I grew up. The meal and dessert were always a big part of the hospitality my parent’s showed and taught us to show. The week was often spent planning what desserts to prepare for Sunday “Faspa,” a meal consisting of homemade bread, cheeses, meats, pickles, jams, and of course, desserts. Everything was always delicious. The females in my family took great pride in preparing meals that would be raved over. I am sure I have heard more than once in my life, “Those Klassen girls sure know how to cook!”

By the time I came along, my mom was mostly retired from the kitchen. I had 5 older sisters who could do the job for her and she had already had many years in the kitchen as the oldest daughter in a large family herself. But there were some things that nobody could make like Mom did. Homemade “verenikje” (cottage cheese filled perogies), homemade noodles for chicken noodle soup, bread, among others.

I also had the neat experience of growing up in a home with the influence of 2 ethnic backgrounds. My parents were descendants of Mennonites who had come to Canada from Prussia I believe, or somewhere near that corner of the world, but both sets of my grandparents moved and lived in Mexico for many years where both of my parents were born. So we had both the influence of the Mennonites; the verenikje and borscht, as well the influence of the Mexicans with the beans and tortillas. There was never an end to good food in my house growing up.

What has turned me off from “dieting” in the past is the emphasis on eating low-fat, low calorie (artificial sweeteners = blech) ¬†or other such foods that just do not have the taste to appeal to me. I cannot go long term eating “diet” foods and stay in a positive mindset. I have to enjoy my food. It has to taste good. Someone on a diet once said something to me along the lines of, “it really doesn’t matter what food tastes like, just eat what’s good for you.” I never could wrap my head around that one. It matters 100% what food tastes like! There is almost no point to eating at all if you don’t enjoy it. I mean, other than keeping you alive. I’m pretty sure God didn’t make us with those senses if we weren’t to enjoy the food we put in our mouths.

What I have discovered over time is that good food CAN be both healthy and taste good! Learning to cook with fresh vegetables and fruit and preparing meat without frying are 2 key elements that have changed my eating style. I tend to stay away from foods and drinks that have been artificially sweetened, over-processed and when it comes to dairy I compromise and use the reduced fat variety, not low/no-fat, I just can’t bring myself that far. I even grind my own locally grown wheat to make bread. Yes, you can roll your eyes at me. When it comes to the diet version of food and drinks, I would far rather have a tiny portion of the real deal and enjoy it than to have a huge portion and wonder, “what am I eating this crap for?”

So I wonder, what is your relationship to food? Do you eat to live? Live to eat? Somewhere in between?

Most of the family at our wedding in 2008. We’re a food-loving bunch.


Fill your fridge and fruit bowl with fresh produce. When I have lots of fruits and vegetables on hand, I am far more likely to snack on them than junk food. An apple or banana with some peanut butter makes a perfect snack.


One Response to “My relationship with food…”

  1. Lendy says:

    This made me think! When mom was home she always cooked and made great food! Me on the other hand…absolutely do not like the kitchen, I only do it cuz I have too. I always want good food, but its a chore to me. I usually ask myself if I eat average sized meals, some of my relatives tell me I barely eat and for the life of me I can’t lose weight! It doesn’t seem to make a difference whether I eat lots or little, or if fruits and vegetables are on the menu, or even if my meats are deep-fried or not at all!
    I’m glad you can keep track of what you eat and limit yourself based on that, but it does sound like a chore, would make me not want to eat at all!

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