Mom Knew Best – Liver and Onions – Ew??

by Diane Sweeney on November 14, 2014

Practice #2 Eating Naturally – not from boxes


Uh-oh Spaghetti O’s!

Remember when that brought a smile to your face and warmth to your belly?

Many of us grew up with Campbell’s, Kraft, and Nabisco food products as a staple at dinner or lunch. Boxed and packaged foods were affordable and convenient for our moms or dads to prepare and get to the table. They were filling, tasteful to a child’s palate and quick and easy to prepare.

Not to say that our parent’s didn’t serve healthy foods as well. Every so often my husband and I share tales of dinners of liver and onions served with spinach or beets. (I happen to like that meal –  my mom added bacon!) Or boiled brussel sprouts, peas and string beans. Boiled – to death that is!


What We Used To Do

Canned veggies and boxed items were a new found convenience in the kitchen in the 1950’s and 1960’s.  In the late 70’s through the 90”s convenience items and fast food dinners became the norm, as did eating out in restaurants a lot more often. (Ask your grandparents how many times they went out to dinner as a kid!)


Grazing was no longer only for farm animals, and snacking became more prevalent through our lifetime; whatever was handy was eaten. Most times that was a candy bar, a bag of chips, a quick trip through the drive-through or a whipped cream topped coffee drink.


Our history has caught up to us – and we are now a generation laden with health issues not seen by our grandparents and older generations.

We are the product of the food processing and chemical additive generation.

I don’t need to tell you where that left many of us. Obese, sick with multiple ailments, and plain old sluggish.

And the fixes we initially tried were not so great either. We dieted. We followed Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, NutriSystem, and Dr. Atkins. But for most of us, not much changed at all.

As Dr. Dean Ornish says, “If you get on a diet, chances are you’ll get off a diet.”  For most people, being on a diet—any diet—is not sustainable.

We can’t change the past – but what can we do to change our future?



farmers market

What is more practical and easy to do is to adopt an attitude and approach to eating that is healthy, natural and one you can stick with – 80% of the time. (After all, we all need some comfort food on occasion).

Start eating good, fresh, foods. Locally grown if possible (helps with allergies!)

Even if you believe you already are ‘good’ about it


  1. Look in your cabinets. Are boxed rice’s and pastas a staple? Consider buying plain old rice and pasta and making your own sauces with herbs and organic broths. Same for your salad dressings. Look at the cheeses in your fridge – are they processed cheese products, or fresh made?


  1. Consciously evaluate your snack choices. We’ve taken to leaving a container of grape or cherry tomatoes right under our ‘snack’ cabinet. (This has changed in nature since the kids left anyway). When the urge comes for something sweet and we realize we are doing it out of habit, not a real desire, we pop one of those in our mouths. Think about substituting fresh fruits as well instead of the sweet and salty snacks.


  1. Watch how you shop. Do you do most of your shopping on the perimeter of the store where most of the fresh foods are? Do you check the labels to see what is really in what you are purchasing? We recently decided to do a two week gluten-free diet just to see if it changed a problem one of us was having. It certainly has made us conscientious about our food choices. Even at restaurants.

It all goes back to awareness & living consciously. You can still enjoy a can of Spaghettio’s or yellow Mac & cheese now and again, when you need that comfort. But on a regular basis, be aware of what you are putting into your body!

Try the liver and onions again! Broil those brussel sprouts with olive oil, and gently sauté the green beans and peas. You may find your palate has changed and can appreciate natural, healthy foods!

It’s part of your Mid-Life Revivification!


5 Practices for Midlife Revivification


  1. Living consciously
  2. Eating Naturally
  3. Moving (not necessarily exercising)
  4. Recognizing our role
  5. Reaching beyond our limits



Are you going to a local farmer’s market regularly? Or shopping in the produce section longer than elsewhere in the grocery store? Share with us what you are doing to adapt to a more natural diet!




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