Dear Mom

I've been thinking a lot about the food I eat, and how I feel as though I've finally found the path on which I feel most comfortable in terms of what I put into my body. When I wrote my last post about what really drives my desire to eat well in addition to being meat-free, I couldn't figure out how to put you in, even though you belong there. Then I figured it out. You don't just need a blurb in a post, you need an entire one just for yourself, and that is what this will be.

I started thinking about the types of meat I was consuming in eighth grade. When I made the decision to try and cut red meat out of my diet, you were completely supportive. You always made sure we had ground turkey on hand in addition to the beef every one else was eating.

When I kept getting sick after every run my senior year, I decided to cut out meat all together, and again, you were supportive. You made sure there were other sources of protein for me. I remember a lot of yogurt in the fridge.

That vegetarian experience lasted for four months, until I went to Oklahoma for the first time, and I felt bad for people having to plan around me. I had my first meat again at Katy's 16th birthday party in the form of chicken and dumplings.

You paid attention to what I loved to eat. When I was on a mango kick, there were always mangoes at home. When I couldn't get enough Bosc pears, there were always Bosc pears. You knew when I loved Orange Carrot SoBe, and would surprise me with them every once in a while. Do you remember the time you took me to the doctor because the palms of my hands and soles of my feet were turning yellow? The diagnosis was a lot beta-carotene from all of the orange foods I'd been eating.

During the portion of my life (and it's nearly half of it) that I've been trying to come into my own in terms of consumption, you've never tried to deter me or tell me I didn't know what I was doing - even when I was a gangly 13-year-old. You've never even questioned it really. I feel like food is an important part of our relationship. It's one of my most favorite parts.

When you come to see me, you plan and execute meals you know I'll love. I can't wait to see you in a few weeks and find out what you have up your sleeve. I know it will be good. Thank you for letting me walk this path that I have continued to grow more passionate about, for letting me experiment, for giving me the freedom to do what I felt was right by my body. That was and continues to be an invaluable gift.

With Love,

PS: Thank you also for taking me to a pediatrician who combined Eastern and Western medicines. I grew up thinking that was the norm, and I feel like my life is richer because of it. I wonder if Ruth Tan Lim is still practicing in her little office off of Dobson with Kachina dolls in the waiting room.


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