Tonight, I hosted my first Arbonne Spa Party. A friend asked me to do the event for one of her fellow red-hatters who was celebrating a birthday. It was a great deal of fun. Those ladies know how to laugh. There was one lady in particular who really got my attention. They call her TOBI, Tough Old Broad of Indiana. How cute is that? She earned the moniker by surviving an aneurysm, two brain tumors and lung cancer. Tough indeed.
We were talking about the purity of the Arbonne products and I mentioned how the nutrition line is helping me beat my addiction to sugar and processed foods. She laughed and said, "Life is too short to not eat what you want." That really stunned me and I'm still trying to process it. Here is this wonderful, lovely woman who would rather eat whatever she wants than feel better by eating better.
Please don't misunderstand. I am not judging. I am simply trying to understand. This increcibly brave survivor has stared the big C in the face more than once and survived with a smile. I can't begin to know what that journey is like. The difficult part of TOBI's statement, for me, is that it's a false choice. I have dairy free ice cream and almond flour cupcakes whenever I have a hankering. (Yes, I said hankering. Did I ever mention I'm from Kentucky?) I can't go to DQ and get a sundae. I can't go to the local baker and pick up a sheet cake. But, I can whip up a mean chocolate 'ice cream' with coconut milk and I can throw together a batch of chocolate chip cookies in my kitchen in less than twenty minutes without the chemicals or processed junk. Plus, I can keep up with my kids and feel great.
I wanted so badly to explain to TOBI that there is a whole world out there that doesn't require you to eat twigs for breakfast and celery sticks for lunch. I wanted to show her all the food blogs I follow and the awesome, delicious food that can be found there. I wanted to tell her how much better life is on the simple, non-processed side of the food schism. I wanted to do something, but instead, all I could do was stand there with a stupid smile plastered to my face. Trying to explain my food world to the conventional eater just feels so ridiculously difficult. Most likely, if you are reading this, you know my quandary. I'm curious. How do you educate the conventional food eaters in your life? Have you ever brought someone over to the healthy side? Please share. I don't want to let another TOBI get by without at least planting a seed that might later grow into a gluten-free, refined-sugar-free, food-as-medicine and enjoyment eater.
While you ponder, check out my latest recipe revision. This is my mom's famous Breakfast Casserole refined to meet my daughter's dairy-free, gluten free requirements. It tastes identical to Mom's. I ran into an old friend, April, last fall. I hadn't seen her in nearly ten years. First thing she told me was that my mom's breakfast casserole is still her family's favorite and she thinks of me every time she makes it. Yep, it's legacy-making good.
Hmm. Maybe I should email her this revised recipe. Perhaps educating the mainstream is simply a matter of demonstrating how easy and tasty healthier food can be, even if they don't think they need it.
Mom's Breakfast Casserole Made Gluten Free & Dairy Free
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 slices of gluten free bread*
1 cup dairy free cheddar cheese such as daiya
1 lb breakfast sausage, browned & drained**
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp celtic sea salt
Beat eggs, milk, salt and mustard. Add bread, sausage and cheese. Pour in greased 9x9 casserole. Bake 40 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees. Let stand a few minutes before serving.
*My kids don't like the crust on the GF bread I buy. What I cut off, I throw in a Ziploc in the freezer for use later in this casserole or other recipes calling for bread crumbs. I used 1 cup of crust pieces for this recipe.
**I've used both chicken and turkey breakfast sausage. I've even used a bag of Jimmy Dean precooked sausage crumbles in a pinch, though I don't recommend it due to some of the additives in it.
I'm sharing this over at Simply Indulgent Tuesdays for May 22.