The meals my mom put on the table in the sixties, seventies, and eighties were plant-based. She just called them, “eat what I put in front of you and be satisfied.” That’s barely said with tongue in cheek and every word is the truth.

It sounds harsh, but I learned good eating habits and to appreciate what I had.

Mom’s balanced meals included a small serving of starch, six to eight ounces of meat or fish and a cup or more of vegetables and salad. Her emphasis was on vegetables. We weren’t allowed to have bread until we had some of what was on our plate. She was a stickler about consuming many starches, whether it was part of our main meal or dessert. She admonished me, long before it was cool to do so, that carbs turn to sugar and sugar turns to fat, all of which is hard on your digestive system.

We hear food marketers and the health-conscious toting the idea of “plant-based.” It’s a term that has become bastardized to the point that far too many people equate it with being vegan or vegetarian. Let’s make this clear today. Eating a plant-based diet does not mean someone is vegan or vegetarian. They may be following a keto, paleo, or another diet. A plant-based diet is flexible and generally has an emphasis on plant-derived foods and less on meat, seafood, dairy, or eggs.

Plant-based might also be considered “not meat-based”. The Mediterranean diet is a perfect example of a plant-based diet. It is rated the number one diet for 2020. This was a diet that was popular in the ’60s and included a daily glass of red wine. Another factor that set it apart was that meals were shared with family and friends. Mediterraneans understand that while their diet is considered “heart-healthy” by cardiologists, sharing food also enhances the heart of the soul.

The process of eating has become as complex as playing a chess game.

Complexity can detract from the joy of eating.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t be conscious eaters, but when was th

e last time we sat down and dug into a meal without questioning every detail about what we are eating?

When we eat out, and we are on a particular diet protocol, it’s often necessary to query ingredients. I know this first hand! One slip up and I’m in serious trouble.

When at home, I prepare meals with joy and love from my heart!

Whether I am preparing meat, seafood, or eggs…

…or vegetables, grains, or seeds…

…or a combination of everything!

Try to keep food preparation and sharing fun and non-judgemental.

I treat each with honor, respect, and compassion. I understand that having food that I can eat is survival, but the privilege of being particular is one that not all may be accorded.