I wasn't always a foodie
Rice for breakfast anyone? How about some Kim Chi with that. Yes, you heard me right, breakfast. My sisters liked eating rice for breakfast and at any time of the day.
I remember the smell of cookies and fresh baked bread as I ran in the door after school. But I also remember the ever present smell of rice. My sister Deb loved teasing me, putting peppers in my food, trying to force me to eat Kim Chi and tricking me.
I blamed this trickery for turning me into the pickiest eater of the family. At the table, I had to sit next to my Mom because she wanted to make sure I ate. If the food was red, I wouldn't touch it, vegetables... get out of town, and Asian food was a no go for me, as were salads. My favorite dinner as a child was tater tot casserole. How embarrassing!
When I think back to my unusual eating behavior, I reflect on life in general and how so many of us are scared of what we don't know. I grew up fiercely thin, ate my oatmeal at breakfast, for lunch I ate cookies or chocolate donuts and drank diet coke. For dinner, I just took a mini portion and shoved it around my plate. I was as closed minded as they come. The more my sister tried to 'push' her food on me the more I revolted saying I would only eat 'my food.'
Rather than tell me about her food, growing up in Korea, how it tasted to her and why it reminded her of her past she forced it on me and I pushed back refusing everything she tried.
Then one day I met a man, and I knew he was 'the one.' He invited me to dinner without asking me if I was a picky eater, or if I had allergies. I walked into his dining room to see stuffed bell peppers (red ones) with rice! I knew I wanted to impress him, so eat I must. I tasted my first bite with fear and was surprised... imagine that, a bell pepper is sweet and not spicy! I had no idea because until I was nineteen, I hadn't had one. I have never turned back. Gone are my donut days, gone the unhealthy food.
My son, skinny like I was, is addicted to Duncan Donuts and unhealthy food. He sits next to me now, and I know there is hope, just like there is hope that the world won't go crazy again. Don't be scared of things you don't know! My Mom laughs when she sees me now....you'd never know it was the same girl.
—Allison Ochs Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife