By Melanie Albert, Guest Blogger
I invite you to sit quietly, close your eyes, take a deep inhale and deeply exhale out through your mouth a few times. Now, quietly read the following and visualize your own eating memories.
Go back to your very first memory of eating. What did you eat? Where were you? Who were you eating with? Who prepared the food? How did the food taste? How did it smell? What were the textures of the food? How did you feel when eating the food? Was the food hot? Warm? Cold? How did your body feel? How did you feel while eating your food?
Now, take a few minutes to journal or reflect on your memories.
Early Eating Memories
Some of the early eating memories of students in the on-campus class included:
- When I was a child, we didn’t have a lot of money, so my mom always made grains and beans for breakfast. We were very satisfied and happy.
- My Great Grandmother cooked Swedish pancakes, with a lot of butter and sugar. Now, after all these decades, I see why I love and crave sugar.
- I remember the ice cream truck bell and running out in the street to buy my frozen treat. Today, ice cream is still one of my favorite snacks.
- We lived on a farm in the Midwest and most of our food came from our huge garden. I especially remember my mom cooking and our family eating purple beets.
- I remember making pancakes that looked like snowmen with my Grandmom. I can still see her teaching me how to cook the pancakes with lots of bubbles, and I remember the sweet, yummy thick syrup.
- I was five years old and I was baking a cake with my Grandmother. It was an amazing chocolate cake made by scratch.
I remember drinking big fluffy, ice cold milk shakes, especially the strawberry shakes with chunks of strawberries, slurping with a huge straw at the local drugstore. Today, I love making home-made smoothies, which have the same thick texture as the shakes I remember enjoying as a kid.Melanie Albert
Back to Basics
It’s so interesting to reflect on our childhood eating memories. Not only do they affect our eating habits as adults, but they are also significant in our daily lives. We clearly remember our cooking and eating experiences, the aroma, who we were with, the tastes and the enjoyment of eating.
It’s also interesting that we have come full circle. Today, I teach basic whole food intuitive cooking, like our Grandmom’s and Mom’s did. In my writings and cooking classes we focus on real whole foods that are minimally processed, including grains, beans, fruit and vegetables. And, I love to encourage the enjoyment of cooking and eating.
In honor of childhood eating memories, today’s recipes reflect today’s healthy version of milk shakes.
Raspberry Smoothie with Chia Seeds
This smoothie is thickened with protein-rich chia seeds, which actually expand 12 times their size. Chia seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation, boost brain and cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1 frozen banana
- Handful frozen raspberries
- Fresh ginger root
- Soak chia seeds in soy milk for 30 minutes
- Blend soaked chia seeds & soy milk, banana, raspberries and fresh grated ginger root in high speed blender, starting at low and moving to high speed. Blend for 2 minutes on high.
- Enjoy and envision happy childhood food memories.
Blackberry Smoothie with Quick Home-made Almond Milk
Instead of milk, this smoothie features quick home-made organic almond milk. Almonds are a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated plant fats, vitamin E, and are rich in fiber.
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1/3 cup raw almonds (soaked for a smoother smoothie)
- 1 frozen banana, pre-cut into chunks
- Handful fresh blackberries (use your favorite berries)
- Blend coconut water and almonds in high speed blender, starting at low and moving to high speed. Blend for 2 minutes on high.
- Add frozen bananas and blackberries.
- Blend another minute until smooth.
Top Benefits of Chia Seeds
- Good fats. Chia seeds, like hemp seeds and flax seeds are a great ALA omega-3 healthy-fat rich seed, which is important for brain health and reduction of inflammation in the body.
- High in protein. Great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans
- Stabilize blood sugar. Important for diabetics
- Improve heart health. According to the Cleveland Clinic, chia seeds have been shown to improve blood pressure in diabetics, and may also increase healthy cholesterol, while lowering total, bad LDL and triglyceride cholesterol
- Good source of calcium. 18% or the recommended daily intake for calcium
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About the Author Melanie Albert
Melanie Albert was born in Baltimore, Maryland and raised in Dallas, Pennsylvania, as the only daughter and oldest of four children and two hard working parents who always believed in Santa.
Melanie's favorite childhood memories about food are eating farm-fresh juicy watermelon on her family's backyard dock and spitting the seeds into the Chesapeake Bay, planting and harvesting all kinds of vegetables, including asparagus, tomatoes and cucumbers with her Dad, and making home-made macaroni salad with her Grandmom. This is probably why growing up, she loved hosting parties, all with specific menus and made-from-scratch tasty dishes with a lot of fresh salads and veggies.
Today, Melanie loves her time shopping at farmers markets throughout the Phoenix area for her own kitchen and classes. She also enjoys cutting beautiful, colorful vegetables, creating them into meals, and mindfully enjoying her beautiful food. She also loves sharing her intuitive cooking passions through her writing and with her students, and, Melanie stills believes in Santa.