So, one of the many reasons I love my wife is that she constantly brings new ideas and experiences to our family, and yesterday was no exception.
At five o’clock, “Matt” showed up, dressed in a green bandana covering his billowing hair, a Grateful Dead tie-dye t-shirt, shabby corduroys and flip flops. He looked like he’d stepped out of 1971. He had a big plastic tub filled with a variety of blenders, choppers, mixers and a slew of totally natural, organic sauces and ingredients. And he had an engaging smile that had my kids hooked from the first minute.
Matt was at our house to teach us about the Raw Food Diet. What that means, believe it or not, is that nothing Matt eats is cooked in any way. He’s a vegan…a raw food vegan. And for a couple of hours last night, we were too. We supplied the raw stuff. Matt supplied the learning. We had smoothies made from kale, bananas and lemon juice. We had fresh zucchini “pasta” which was, um, long curly strips of zucchini fashioned by some crank driven slicer that I’d never seen before. And it was covered by an absolutely incredibly delicious cool blendered sauce made up of tomatoes (fresh and sundried) and celery and other greens and yellows. We had banana ice cream, and chocolate fudge made of all sorts of cool stuff that I can’t remember. And it was all amazing.
But, as usual, the best part was watching my kids watch Matt as he talked about fruits and vegetables and enzymes and acids and vitamins and digestion, describing almost all of it (even the chemistry stuff) in ways that the kids could get it. He was animated, smart, funny…and he taught my kids a great deal. (And my kids already know a lot about nutrition…they read the labels of everything they eat and we talk about what all that “stuff” is.) And while I already guessed the answer, I asked him the one question I wanted my kids to hear the answer to. “So Matt, how did you get into all of this?” You guessed it. No school. No degrees. Self-taught, self-read, self-made businessman. (He was making $50 an hour, btw, which we spilt with a group of other friends who came over to join in the fun.) “I just started eating like this, and it just changed my life in so many good ways.” And he found everything he could read about it, most of it online, learned the vocabulary and the dietary and nutritional foundations, experimented and played with the food. And he got a job at a health food store and now, 24, he was starting to spread the word. It was very cool.
I know, I’ve said it before. I feel the most pressure in my parenting life around helping my kids find their passions and help them pursue them. I want them to be surrounded by people like Matt, people who give them all sorts of models in terms of learning and doing and pursuing what they love. Yesterday was a great example for them of what that looks like.
And they got to drink kale. They loved it.
(Photo “side dish of raw vegetables” by JustChay.)
Technorati Tags: raw_food_diet, learning, vegan, food, health
Did Matt discuss the cost of eating that way? Just Curious. Where did you shop for the food? Local store or speciality store?
I think this was a wonderful experience. I loved to eat a mostly raw food diet. I always feel good, am never sick, and never have any stomach problems or any ailments for that matter. Thank you for sharing!
That sounds great! It’s a really positive thing to show your kids someone with such verve for life. I’m into raw foods so I have some questions specifically about your wonderful visitor. How did you, or rather, your wife find Matt? There’s a rather famous raw chef out there goes by the name Matt. Is it the same one, I wonder?
chris larry says
Um, can’t say a raw food diet sounds appealing, but loved the sentiment of the post. Triggering passion, creativity and motivation is a tricky challenge I think you are giving your kids a great gift by helping them ingest these experiences, even if a kale shake makes me feel a bit quesy.
Dean Shareski says
So my meal last night at Cracker Barrel of Chicken and Dumplings probably doesn’t fit into the diet and am also assuming a hotdog at Fenway tomorrow night might not work for you 😉
It is so necessary for an individual to find his/her passion in life and pursue it. Some folks go through life and never get any satisfaction form living. What a waste.
Tom Krieglstein says
We bounce back and forth between vegan and veggie. I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way. Since I am on the road a lot here are my helpful tips to staying vegan/veggie in the middle of now where:
1) http://www.happycow.com – put in a zip code and see what vegan restaurants are around you.
2) http://www.healthyhighways.com – same idea.
3) Wal-mart – I have issues shopping here, but not for the fact that they are guaranteed to be everywhere in the country and that they started stocking a decent selection of natural foods.
4) Subway – Guaranteed to be everywhere and their selection of vegetables is actually pretty good. Take out the bread and get a salad bowl and you have yourself a nice meal.
“Did Matt discuss the cost of eating that way?”
Most people think eating this way costs a lot of money, but that totally depends on what stores you are shopping in. The major chain stores Jewel and Dominick’s are the ones by us in Chicago mark up the price, almost 2 times, of all the veggie stuff so to the average shopper it is very expensive to eat this way.
However we shop almost exclusively between Trader Joes, Wholefoods, and a local place called Treasure Island. Each place has specifics that are cheaper than anywhere else and much cheaper than the major food stores. So in the end, yes you can be vegan and have an average food bill.
If nothing else, one less trip to the emergency room, or 6 months more added on your life can be priceless.
“And while I already guessed the answer, I asked him the one question I wanted my kids to hear the answer to. â€œSo Matt, how did you get into all of this?â€ You guessed it. No school. No degrees. Self-taught, self-read, self-made businessman.”
I understand that perhaps you were trying to show your children that life-long learning is important and having a love of what you do is as well. However, at the same time, do you think that you may have shown them that school is not necessary as long as you “like what you do”?
Learning about that which only interests you, or have a passion for, limits your scope of knowledge. I may be taking this out of context, but are you saying school is not necessary as long as you are successful and like what you do?
What a great way to teach your kids how to eat in a healthy manner and to let them have fun, too!