I grew up a “whole wheat” girl, but I married a “white bread” guy. I was raised in the healthy-eating, organic-obsessed, farmer’s market-driven culture of the San Francisco Bay Area; he grew up in the deep-dish pizza-loving suburbs of Chicago. My childhood was filled with fruits, vegetables and home cooked meals--I was raised to be “picky” about what I put into my body and to eat junk food in moderation. For him, ice cream and french fries were a way of life. I remember the day my dad actually brought home a donut--he cut it up into eighths and gave my brother and me a small piece to taste. Meanwhile, there’s my future husband, halfway across the country, in the middle of his standard daily breakfast of three donuts and milk.
When most people get married, they worry about things like money or in-laws. But when we got married, the question was: What would the picky eater and her fast food husband eat for dinner? I realized that the only way I would be able to bridge the gap between my husband’s “white bread” world and my “wheat bread” world would be to cook healthy versions of foods that my husband enjoyed. And so, at the age of 24, I taught myself to cook.
Gradually, I started making healthier swaps in my husband’s diet, “sneaking” in the good stuff without him noticing. Slowly but surely he began to identify different flavors like cumin, ginger, and garlic, and he even started asking for vegetables in his dishes! He said it was because he learned that healthy food could taste good, which meant the world to me. My blog, “The Picky Eater,” was inspired by my husband’s transformation and my desire to share our experience with others. My food passion became a food mission.
I’m a Food Person because I’m both a food lover and a food educator. I truly believe that food can be a means towards a healthier, happier lifestyle, and my blog has shown me that I can share my passion for healthy food with the world. But you can’t force healthy food on people: you need to make it accessible, easy, and mainstream. Instead of imposing something new on them, you have to meet people where they are. You have to allow them to change at their own pace. That’s what I’ve come to learn through marriage and through food. My food passion revolves around my “picky eater” philosophy: sharing healthy, flavorful, home-cooked meals along with the food lessons I learned growing up. My blog has become a great way to connect with people through food. In the meantime, though, I’ll keep working on my “white bread” husband.