1. What is one food you couldn't live without?
I love cheese. Not so much sharp cheeses but mozzarella, Swiss and goat cheese are my favorites.
2. What are your 3 least favorite foods?
Mayonnaise, tomatoes and hot dogs.
3. What is your fondest "food" memory?
I don't know if this would be considered my fondest, but it is the one that sticks in my mind. When I was in elementary school, my family spent an entire Saturday making ravioli from scratch. Each of us had a specific job, and we had an assembly line set up. Not only was it an interesting way to have family time, but also produced the best ravioli ever.
4. What is your worst "food" memory?
When I was studying in France, my "family" visited friends in the country. They served rabbit with the skull on the serving plate. This was the beginning of my conversion to vegetarianism.
5. Why and how did you become a vegetarian?
There is no real reason. Growing up I never really loved red meat so when I got to college it was easy just to stop eating it (college food service has come along way). Once I got out on my own, I didn't really have the money for chicken and seafood and what I had I wanted spend on vegetables. It was in 1995 that I became lacto-ovo. When I got pregnant, my OB was convinced that I would crave meat and eat a burger. He was shocked when it never happened.
6. Does everyone in your house eat healthy?
This question always makes me laugh. Not even I eat healthy all of the time. My husband is a junk food junkie. He has sweet tooth and love for McDonalds. He will go on these "healthy" eating kicks, and we always joke about how long it will last. But he is in great shape (runner), has no issues with blood pressure or cholesterol and has an incredible metabolism. I usually throw a vegetable or two on his plate with chicken or pork. The one thing he is not is picky. My son has been a picky eater since birth. For him, it is a texture thing. I used to worry about him, but he is healthy and fit and knows what he likes. He tends to eat the same things everyday, which are generally pretty healthy, and he limits his "treats". This took a while, but now he sees how too much sugar and fast food impact his running and tennis so he chooses more judiciously.
7. Speaking of fat and sugar, both have been in the news lately. What are your thoughts?
I will be talking about sugar and fat in future blog posts, but here are my general thoughts:
Fat-I don't believe that fat makes you fat. Your body needs fat. Do some foods have too much fat? Absolutely! Fat helps to make food taste good, but sometimes it gets to the point that it becomes the food. When the country went low fat, it failed to grasp that the fat needed to be replaced with something else.
Sugar-I do believe that too much added sugar can be harmful to your body. Not just in terms of weight, but all of your working parts. Notice I said added sugar. Your body metabolizes the sugar in fruit differently, and I believe the benefits from eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables outweighs any negative effects. It always goes back to moderation!
8. What's your biggest nutrition pet peeve?
I would have to say "good" vs. "bad" foods. Are some foods better than others? Yes, but all foods can be incorporated into healthy eating (barring any allergies or medical conditions). I think my second one would be the word "skinny," but that is really not a nutrition pet peeve.
9. What achievement are you most proud of when it comes to fitness?
I used to say I was most proud of running the Chicago Marathon, but now I think I am most proud of instilling in Noah the importance of exercise by leading by example. He doesn't love running, but he knows the benefits outweigh the 20-30 minutes of misery.
10. What words do you hope people use to describe you?
Supportive, compassionate, knowledgeable, determined and true.