Rites of Passage

My older daughter, Megan, graduated from college this past weekend. Much like me, her path of choice is advocacy. Despite the fact that her degree is in political science and history and my degrees were in nutrition, we both have a philanthropic heart and mind as well as a desire to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. Megan, as a result, is headed to Washington DC for an internship helping women enter the field of politics.

Me and Meg HeadshotJust as Megan is following in my footsteps, I followed my mother’s passion, nutrition. Despite the fact that she never had a degree in nutrition or practiced in nutrition, the woman is a veritable encyclopedia (or Google search as it were) of nutrition and functional culinary facts. When I was a child, she was constantly reinforcing our need to eat nutrient-rich foods especially due to our limited means.

Thus, it is only appropriate that at the luncheon my mom held for Meg’s graduation, all of our food was enhanced or modified to ensure it packed the nutritional punch needed to get us through the ceremony. The menu consisted of Gluten-Free Lasagna, My Brother’s Famous Seven Layer-Salad and Vegan Fudge Cake. Many of you are now thinking, “Yuck!” However, my mom has experimented diligently for years and her nutrient-packed meals could please even the pickiest of palates. I know, because my younger daughter actually ate and enjoyed the meal!

Ryan and Teresa

I have linked the recipes from my mom’s website so that people can benefit from her expertise and try these recipes. In the fudge cake, she substituted ground chia seed mixed with water for the eggs. Not only does this add Omega-3 Fatty Acids, but also chia seed contains antioxidants, protein and fiber and my mom reports that many people tolerate chia seed better than flaxseed which was previously hailed for Omega-3 content.

The lesson here is that my 73 year old, healthy, active mom is living proof that eating for health doesn’t just “add years to your life but also adds life to your years.”
I for one will gladly embrace that Rite of Passage!