By: Wendy Hardy
Growing up, my family ate mostly whole foods with little junk food. We rarely had soda, cookies, or potato chips. We did have animal foods, but I hated to eat cheese, eggs, or milk. My health was very good overall. I spent a lot of time playing outside, jumping on the trampoline and riding my bike. I was physically active and involved in extracurricular activities such as softball and drill team.
The summer before I started 3rd grade I was bucked off of a horse and fractured my wrist. When I had the x-rays done the doctor said that my bones were brittle. I have a family history of low bone density on my mother’s side, and there are many family members on that side with a history of multiple fractures. However, I did not have any more incidents for many years.
When I received my patriarchal blessing as a young woman there were some things that really stood out to me. There are a few references to me receiving a healthy body. There was also instruction for me to “eat and drink only those things that ensure good health, and to abstain from all others.” I thought it was wonderful news that I had been given a healthy body. I didn’t really take the admonition too seriously though. I always enjoyed eating healthy food (although I didn’t really understand what things were healthy), but I didn’t abstain from any foods. I just didn’t have them very often (in my eyes).
As an adult, I’ve always been interested in health and diet. I love learning new things and if I feel like what I learn is beneficial then I will wholeheartedly adopt it into my life. Several years after starting our family I came across the book Nourishing Traditions. It teaches all about eating whole foods and taking time to prepare them for your family and how important that is. I read the book and a lot of it really resonated with me. There was great information about vegetables, grains, and beans. There was also a lot of information about dairy, meat, and eggs. It seemed to make sense to me.
After finding this information I started making changes in the way we were eating. We started using a lot of dairy products. After all, we are taught that dairy is important for bone health and our family had a history of bone density problems. In fact, some of my children have inherited this mutated gene for low bone density. Some of them have had multiple spinal compression fractures, so I wanted to make sure they were getting the best nutrition they could!