Courtesy of Sheila Amir
“You always eat super healthy.”
I’ve heard it a thousand times. I generally eat healthy foods. Not because I’m a nutritionist or on a health kick, but rather because those are the foods I enjoy.
I was blessed to grow up in a household where healthy, delicious food was our norm. It could be said that my dad grew me into a nutritionist from the ground up.
Always salad at dinner
We ALWAYS had a salad at dinner. No matter the main course, even if it was a vegetable entrée, we had a dinner salad. Dad would prepare a large bowl filled with finely chopped romaine lettuce, carrots, sweet peas, tomatoes and more. A big, beautiful salad was always present at the dinner table and we filled at least half our plates with it.
Healthy, homemade meals
Eating out was a rare treat for us and we didn’t mind, because dad made awesome food. I learned how to cook, and I learned a lot about life standing in the kitchen helping dad make dinner.
This is how I learned to make Persian food, just as he did from helping my grandmother make dinner. I guess I can say I’m a classically trained Persian chef.
I cannot remember ever seeing a can of soda at my dad’s house. We had three options at our house — milk, water or tea. Instead of drinking caloric sugar bombs, we were sipping up on antioxidant-rich, black tea with a little honey. While my sister and I opt more often for green tea these days, we are still tea drinkers. Our health and waistlines reflect this healthy habit dad gave us.
Our entire backyard growing up was encompassed with a beautiful garden. Tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, sweet peas, plums and mint like you wouldn’t believe!
Dad gave me my own 2-square-foot plot to grow marigolds and taught me how to garden. We were spoiled with backyard and local produce for several months out of the year.
I had the buff dad often compared to Sylvester Stallone. I saw that fitness is a way of life.