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What My Mama Taught Me About Food

Mamas pass down all sorts of nuggets of wisdom – it’s what they do. And the best kind of nuggets are those that have been passed down to them from the generations of fearless mamas in your ancestral lineage. In WHAT MY MAMA TAUGHT ME, we’re sharing the life, waist, skin, and time-saving wisdoms that our mamas (literally and figuratively) have passed down to us. Love you, mom.

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My mom is most certainly not an avid cook, but she is an avid eater. My entire life she has consistently hit the gym 5 times a week, running, spinning, lifting, and yoga-ing with dedication.


So that she can eat.

She understands the complexity of food in a really simple way. How beautiful a perfectly ripe avocado is, how good fats feel in her body, how lucky she is to not have to worry where her next meal comes from. There’s gratitude in every bite she takes. Gratitude for the earth for creating it, for the huge role it plays in her everyday health, for all the mental, emotional, and physical cravings it satisfies in her body.

She eats yogurts, smoothies, fresh fruit, salads, beans, and nuts on a daily basis. But she also eats pizza, steak, and any localy made desserts she can get her hands on. She refuses to celebrate Christmas without chicharron (fried pork skin) and morsilla (blood sausage) and is more than happy to stop at the side of the road to get a fried chicken empanada for lunch.

She eats those sausages with the same joy she eats those avocados.

So what has my mama taught me about food? To be grateful for it’s function, it’s taste, and it’s joy. But, above all else, to be grateful for my unwavering access to it.




Danielle, Sakara Mama: Always use a microplane for garlic. Always whip your own cream. Indulge without the guilt. A good homemade apple pie is the way to a man's heart.

Whitney, Sakara Mama: I credit my knowledge and passion for food to my mama. She taught me how to read a nutrition label and recognize ingredients as soon as I could read, so that I could make good choices even when on my own. She taught me that food is medicine. She taught me the importance of relying on myself, my knowledge/research, and my intuition to tell me what is right and wrong, what is good food and what isn't-- and not to rely on "the man" to look out for me or my health. She continues to teach me about new foods and their magical powers. And she taught me how to make a superfood muffin with everything but the kitchen sink.

Mike, HR: Potato chip crumbs can make any dish better.

Christy, Business Development: Running hard boiled eggs under cold water to make them easier to peel!

Denise, Logistics:

  • Foods that look like parts of the body nourish those parts of the body (e.g., walnuts = brains).
  • Eat raw garlic every day - my mom literally eats a spoonful every day.
  • Eat lots and lots of cilantro, because it's detoxifying.

Jordan, Sales: All things in moderation // Life is short - eat dessert!

Michelle, Client Services : It's okay to indulge and have fun, but check yourself, if you're pants are feeling a little tight, eat a few salads for a couple days, then go about living life!

Soley, Culinary: My mom told me this story about how they did a test on rats; fed the rats one toxin and their bodies processed it without any drastic side effects. Added another toxin, same thing. But when they added a third toxin, they found that their bodies were fighting in too many ways: all the rats came down with cancer and severe health issues. That is why it is so important to eat organic! You avoid the toxins in the pesticides and fertilizers farmers spray on their crops. Eating organic gives way to fighting the other sources of toxins in our lives such as smog and groundwater contamination... In short: My mama has taught me to Eat Organic!

Erin Cauley, Design:

  • When in doubt use lemon and fresh herbs. They can turn a whole meal around (for the better!).
  • Cinnamon in coffee brings out a lot of sweetness.
  • Don't flip a pancake twice.
  • Don't be afraid of snacking. Eat when you're hungry, and try not to eat until you can't move.
  • A piece of chocolate after every lunch and dinner is necessary.
  • Grocery shop for colors. Try filling your plate every night with has many colors as you can!

 Kirby, Copy: If you're going to a party and you have to bring something, make a dessert. That way, it's ok if you're late.


Meagan, S-Life Mag: Re food: my mama taught me that the ritual of cooking a balanced meal for the people you love every single night is part of a balanced lifestyle. I was a very intense dancer growing up - practicing at the studio every night until about 9pm. And no matter how late I got home, my mama always had something warmed up for me to enjoy. She was never forceful about making me eat healthier and quit drinking Coca-Cola, but she led me more by example; by nourishing herself even when others chose not to, and practicing everything in moderation. For as long as I can remember I've admired these things about her, and I still do. My mom rocks.


So tell us in the comments below! What did your mama teach you about food? Everything from her secret recipes to her words of wisdom and beyond...

    6 Discussions on
    “What My Mama Taught Me About Food”
  • Natasha says:

    - Add spices anywhere possible, especially turmeric, cloves, cardamom
    - Grow your own herbs at home (she grew curry leaves, ashwagandha, green chilies, aloe vera)
    - Drink lots of water between meals for healthy skin
    - Drink yogurt after lunch and dinner (the probiotics)
    Apply coconut oil to hair at least once a week for shine, strength and luscious looking locks
    -A natural, homemade face mask is the way to go 1tsp turmeric+ 2tsp gram flour/chickpea flour/ fuller’s earth + yogurt+sandalwood= way to clear, acne free, bright skin
    - Au natural is the best! Just a moisturizer, some eye liner and kohl (“kajal” in India) and a lip balm
    -Eat your colors!

    Mom’s rock!

  • Laura C says:

    No rules! If your body craves leftover dinner for breakfast, so be it. Escarole soup with a piece of toasted whole wheat bread is the best breakfast ever! There is nothing wrong with a heated up slice of last night’s pizza on Saturday morning. Be thankful. Keep your fridge stocked with beautiful fresh foods but don’t waste.

  • Kirby says:

    Gabby, your mama sounds like a special lady. ;)

  • Gabby says:

    SHE IS!

  • Jessica Epstein says:

    Always have a balanced meal! Food=family=love

  • Sarah says:

    - End every day with a cup of tea and something sweet
    - Buy a special grapefruit knife to get all the juicy segments out
    - Eat artichokes/soups to reset the digestive system
    - Never deprive yourself

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