Kamey610

Location:  Helena, AR
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EDUCATION:  M.Ed in Higher Education from University of Arkansas BLOG:  None provided
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Writing Sample

A few months back, I made the decision that my two children and I would live a healthier lifestyle. Being a single mom to a two year old girl and a 10 month old boy, I knew my work was cut out for me. My son is a human garbage disposal, so he’ll happily devour anything .My daughter, on the other hand, is very picky and simplistic, simultaneously. She loves food, but if it was green, she would not touch it. I have often laughed at her outright disgust at the sight of green foods on her plate.The time I gave her fresh broccoli with ranch on it was perhaps the funniest thing I ever witnessed. She politely licked off the ranch dressing and, without hesitation, tossed the broccoli into the wastebasket. Her tongue curled up and the word “ew” began spewing from her little lips.

As time passed, I learned the art of hiding veggies in plain sight. I started chopping her veggies so fine that they seemingly disappeared. I even resorted to blending some of them! I learned the trickiness of peeling the skin off of veggies such as zucchini, too! Before long, she would willingly consume them - even if she saw them! She learned to at least taste it before assuming that she wouldn’t enjoy it. This new response in her gave me the freedom of sauteing veggies in a skillet and satisfactorily watching her demolish every morsel. 

Water was my second major challenge. Like most toddlers, my daughter consumed far too much juice. When the pediatrician made me aware that she needed more water, I think my eyes popped out of their sockets. I was mortified. That is, until I discovered water flavoring! My daughter will now drink four or five bottles of water a day if I add flavoring. Over time, I have even been able to get her to drink pure water without flavoring additives. 

The final straw was determining what type of diet we would consume. Keto seems to be the largest and most popular diet nowadays, and I have watched several documentaries suggesting the benefits of a keto diet; however, I didn’t think that it would be a match for myself or my children. Then I thought about humans back in caveman days. And I had an epiphany: we could eat the food that God put here for us to eat! Simple, right? Before you misunderstand what I’m saying, allow me to explain. 

Before the commercialization of food, people ate what they grew. Foods were much simpler and purer because individuals (not machines) had to make it. If a family’s garden over produced, they could sell off some of the extra, but they could also preserve (or can) it in salt and vinegar. They were not forced to slather their food in chemicals that could single-handedly produce an atomic bomb. People were all the wiser for it. 

In today’s time, most things are processed and saturated in things such as high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, or various other things that lay people cannot pronounce or define. I’ve watched a myriad of documentaries that discuss the link between varying companies that used to make a lot of money, were restricted because of new regulations, then resorted to purchasing major food companies and loading products with chemicals to make people want more. And more! So, I said no more!

For about a month, my children and I have started consuming more fruits and veggies. We only eat meat once a day. We also eat “normal” food that most people buy. Google and Pinterest have become huge proponents of our new food journey! I’ve learned how to make chocolate - without added sugars and using only natural ingredients. And it’s good! The best part is that this is toddler-approved!! My daughter joyously consumes mama’s black bean burger or squash casserole. She loves my morning smoothies and my experimental foods all the same. And I have more clarity and crispness because of this diet change. It’s been an all-around good thing for us! I’m working to convince my parents and step-parents to make the switch also!