Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Poverty, Cancer, Food & Starting Over.

Thank you for stopping by little island studios!  We are so pleased you are here!

I usually write HAPPY posts, but today I am writing just a tiny bit about why I am passionate about food -  poverty will do that to you.  


I am going to keep this short.  Partly because I have kids running around and like most mothers, I barely have time to brush my teeth by noon in the morning...and also because I can't bear to think about it long enough to write much.  Thinking about what I went through puts me in darkness, this cloud where I remember -  I can not do it.   I have had some friends (online) that have asked me about money, food and what I went through.  So, I will write a little for them.

A few years ago my world fell apart.  Completely.  I was pregnant after years and years of trying again and when I was six months pregnant my husband lost his job and was diagnosed with Cancer.  We went from being an "average" family, with a average family  household income to nothing.  

I want to avoid going into too much over-share and details you probably don't care about.  I will say, that there is so much that I understand, so much that I know from experience, it is why I have food issues.  I think about food all the time.  Real food.  Healthy food.  I think about because I could not afford it.   I think about it because I did so much food research, I should have an honorary degree (Cancer will do that to you) and there have been so many times I have stood in the grocery store (no, not Whole Foods) and cried because I did not have money for anything other than peanut butter and jelly - and that had to be counted from the jar of change I had.  So many times I cried myself to sleep.

All "extras" went.  Any car that had a car payment, all cable, cell phones, nothing that wasn't food or keeping the power on.  I have never been that close to being homeless and do not care to be there ever again.  I have seen enough humility, thank you very much.

When you are this broke, how do you come up with money for healthy food? I learned things about the food system I'd rather not know, but I did what I could.  


So, years later, I am "okay" - whatever that means.  Every time I go to the grocery store now I am thankful.  Every. Single. Time.  Sometimes, I buy a bit extra - just in case.  I hate to have that thought process - waiting for the other shoe to drop - but, I do.  I had never thought too much about food and yes, I bought the Betty Crocker cake mix, the Hamburger Helper and such - I didn't know.  I just never thought about it.  

I have been called by friends that have to go through the Cancer part and ask me for advice.  I can not do it.  I shut down.  Some people get through their experience and are brave and go on to help others, to talk about it.  I can barely write the C word much less discuss it and offer great advice.  

So now, I think about it - food.  All the time.  Perhaps that explains why I post and talk about real food and the utmost importance of it.  Is there anything more important to your health?  Your children's future health?  There is a food crisis in America and no one is paying attention.  Our kids must have real food - without GMOs and pesticides, if they are to live healthy lives.   Food is the key to happiness.   You must have healthy food to be healthy and have fun raising your children.   I do not want anyone else to ever have to go through what I did.  Or my husband. Or my kids.  

And to moms going through this and far worse:  Pray, play and have hope, you are not alone.

So when you follow me on Instagram  (I do so love my Instagram moms & dads!), blog or Twitter - now you know, my life is not perfect, I just choose to focus on fun, kids, happy and food!  

Eat well and be happy, lovelies.

7 comments:

Ashley T said...

WOW! I LOVE this post! People like you are exactly why I started my business farmboxdirect.com I sell ONLY certified organic and local certified organic when mother nature allows! After I had my daughter I really paid attention to what is in our food, and it is terrifying!! I am actually working to make organic eating affordable to EVERYONE! Its my mission! Thx for this post!

Cassidy Berd said...

Love this! I look forward to reading more :)

Angela said...

This is a lovely post. Sharing...

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you for sharing your experience. It is a powerful story that will surely help a lot of people. I think if all of the people who can afford to always buy the organic, non-GMO, etc, etc, will make a point of always doing so, the "demand" will increase to the point where it will be much more affordable for all. Wishing you all the best and may you never have to go through anything like that again!

Dianne Messina said...

I am glad you were able to share. I hope you post more on your journey, it helps those of us who are on the same path.

Phyllis said...

I was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. I reacted much the way you did...I shut down and I became interested in real food. I understand.

island girl said...

Thank you all so very much for your kind comments. It was so hard to write and I could only do a bit. But, important...it's happening all over the country and we must change things - our children are already suffering. Our Cancer rates for kids and adults are off the charts and at all time highs. Fake Food and Cancer are big, big business and we must stop feeding it. Eat Well. Buy Real Food.