My big sister made a huge life change this week and emigrated to the other side of the world. Her reasons were not based on hatred for her country or culture but out of a deep desire to provide a stable upbringing for her family, with a host of new opportunities. I bet she’s scared shitless but I’m immensely proud of her.
It got me thinking a lot about food cultures and the role food plays in our identity. We grew up eating certain foods at parties, family gatherings and in everyday life. Some of my strongest memories are linked with food.
Eating tomato soup when I was sick at home with mum.
Eating cheese and tomato ketchup sandwiches with my grandma.
And enjoying a plate of hot sausage and chips with mayonnaise whenever we were skiing.
Nutritionally speaking, these were definitely not perfect choices, but they made me happy and the memory of those foods continues to make me smile.
One thing that helps many people during times of stress or transition is the practice of food tradition. This practice includes the preparation and consumption of traditional foods and dishes that have been passed through generations. It may be as elaborate as a thanksgiving meal, or as simple as a Friday evening family curry night! This sense of family, tradition and culture can provide some stability and familiarity, both of which can support you during stressful times.
Step 29: Create or bring back a food tradition
Think of a meal or a celebration you enjoyed as a child. It may have been Saturday night homemade burgers, or a family Sunday roast. Do you still currently practice this food tradition in your new home and life?
If you don’t, it’s time to bring it back!
Food traditions are also extremely powerful in maintaining a positive relationship with food and eating. When meals are shared and enjoyed socially, there is less guilt and crappy self-talk associated with eating.
So please make the time this week to create or bring back a food tradition that you can share with your family, friends or neighbours. Let’s bring back a sense of community around food and create some new, positive, food based memories. 🙂
And maybe my sister is sharing an old-school family meal with her family and new friends right now. I like to think she is.
Off to make a shepherd’s pie now…
Love Erin xx