My First Post

“Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”~~Michael Pollan

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I’m Sharon Reese. I’ve been actively involved with all things food for a very long time. To get all the information I could about food and nutrition, I took classes in nutritional therapy, completed culinary school, and got an MS in Holistic Nutrition. I’ve worked as a chef and have taught whole foods vegetarian cooking classes. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a large library of books on every nutritional subject from Ayurvedic medicine to small farming. I regularly listen to the Splendid Table podcast; I watch cooking shows on TV now and then. The way I see it, I can’t get too much information about health and good eating.

Why Another Food/Nutrition Blog

I started this blog because my brain is bursting with food and nutrition information I want to share to help make your life easier.

In an ideal world, everyone would have access to fresh, healthy food, and we’d all know how to cook delicious meals. Most of us were not born into an ideal world, but we can all learn how to make it better.

Early Experiences with Food

My early food experiences were with the meat-and-potatoes of the Midwest. My mom cooked food the way she learned from her mother, or whatever my dad liked. She cooked from recipes in cookbooks—her favorite was the old Betty Crocker cookbook, with the red-and-white plaid cover. Sometimes she’d clip recipes from Good Housekeeping or Ladies’ Home Journal magazines.

I have seven siblings and we ate whatever mom put on the table. Sometimes I liked what she prepared; sometimes I wished we had a dog. Occasionally we went to the drive-in for burgers and fries. Once in a while we went to the only Chinese restaurant in town, and Dad always ordered a hamburger. When it came to food, my family accepted what they’d always known, and before I learned differently, so did I.

But when I was young, I suspected a connection between food and health because my grandparents had sugar diabetes (diabetes mellitus), commonly shortened to “sugar” back then. It made sense to me that such an awful disease was in some way related to what they ate. In high school Home Economics, I learned that vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients are essential for good health. Learning that we get essential nutrients by eating healthful food grabbed my heart, mind, and soul, and never let go.

first turnips

Japanese turnips

Learning to Cook Differently

When I left home, at 19, I became a vegetarian and had to teach myself how to cook without meat. My biggest challenge was that I’d never learned how to cook much of anything. Mom didn’t have the time or the desire to teach me. Four years after leaving home, I moved to Southern California and discovered fruits and vegetables I’d never seen before. I’d go to markets and buy exotic veggies; when I got home, I had to figure out what to do with them. In those days, we hippies were experimenting with everything, and food was no exception. The best part about my new life was learning I could make tasty meals by using my eyes, nose, and tongue.

I never cared to cook complicated meals. By experimenting, I learned that I could make a simple delicious dish from any fresh food and the right seasoning. At first, finding the right seasoning was a challenge. I’d start with whatever veggie I had on hand; then I’d add herbs and spices a little at a time, tasting along the way, until each dish sparkled with flavor. By trial and error and improvement, I developed an instinct for seasoning.

I used recipes when I was first learning how to cook, but I didn’t follow them exactly. I still use recipes sometimes for ideas about ingredients I’ve never used before. And I always refer to a recipe before cooking authentic dishes from another country or culture. But a recipe isn’t all that’s needed to make a meal: practice makes you comfortable with cooking; your heart and soul inspire you to create. In less time than you think, you’ll be a confident cook. Once you’ve learned how to cook, you will trust your instincts, and that skill will stay with you like riding a bicycle.

Meeting Challenges

Learning how to cook can be intimidating. It can also be intimidating to learn how to make changes in your diet if you have cooking skills. Besides learning how to cook, you have the responsibility to make the best choices for yourself and your family. As a food and nutrition blogger, my responsibility is to give you timely information on general nutrition, grocery shopping, and cooking.

Not Only Vegetarians

My blog is not only for vegetarians. I’m familiar with the diversity of dietary trends, including Adkins, Mediterranean, South Beach, Zone, and others. Any diet can be healthful as long as it consists of real food. Processed food is loaded with refined oils, corn sugar, and unhealthy chemicals. When you start cooking from scratch you’ll taste real flavors, maybe for the first time, and enjoy your creation. Once you get the hang of what you and your family like, you will be proud of your new talent and eager to learn more about cooking and nutrition.

I Can Help You

Making changes won’t be easy. You’ll be frustrated sometimes and get discouraged, especially when a family member is resistant. Maybe someone will refuse to eat what you’ve made such an effort to prepare. But don’t give up. Your health and well-being is dependent upon what you eat.

No matter what problems arise, I will help you find a solution. There is nothing we can’t fix together with an open mind, a sense of adventure, and sense of humor. The best food isn’t some fancy dish that takes hours to make, but everyday food that nourishes the body and soul.

I welcome your comments, and please follow me on social media.

Author:Sharon Reese

Lacto-ovo vegetarian for over four decades.

Follow HeathfulCooking

I will be pleased to hear from you. I’ll try to answer questions you might have about cooking or nutrition.

3 Responses to “My First Post”

  1. Terry
    September 17, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

    Way to go, Cookie!! I will enjoy reading and learning from you.

  2. Terry
    September 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm #

    Hi, Cookie! I will enjoy reading your blog and learning how to eat’s never too late…right?

    • Sharon
      November 21, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

      Thank you for following me now that I have more posts to read. I really appreciate it.

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