Does this sound familiar?
You’re a working parent. You feel exhausted 24/7. You got so used to this feeling of low energy that it has become your new normal. You feel like you wouldn’t be able to survive without your daily shot(s) of caffeine and/or sugar rushes originating from unhealthy snacks you're able to grab before the kids run off with those too.
You blame it on not sleeping well. You shouldn’t question this tiredness because isn’t this what parenting is? Running around (read: behind) all day? Taking your kids from home to school, to hobby, to home? There are just not enough hours in a day to take care of everything.
You want to cook healthy, nutritious meals because you know this is important for your family and yourself but just can’t find the time.
In the best-case scenario, you get a decent, hot meal, including some veggies, on the table by 6 pm (who ever said dinner should be at 6 pm btw?) having 3 minutes to stick a veggie or 2 in your mouth –yes; the daily dose of vitamins check! - in between the washing up and homework duty.
You feel guilty whenever you take a minute to rest because “Isn’t this the time you could actually try out that wholesome, healthy recipe you saw online the other day? Start the big pile of laundry? Just do anything?”
Yet you feel something has got to give. Something has got to change.
You read and hear about this "Gerson Therapy thing". Rebooting the power of your own body. Eating healthy, feeling energized, skin glowing but you think it is not for you because you.just.don't.have.the.time.
That making fresh, healthy meals can not be feasible when you have a family? It is already a race to make one decent meal for the family, let alone start cooking one meal for me and another one for the rest of the family.
As for every problem that arises: we create them ourselves (now hold the trigger before you shoot me in the head there. I have a solution to this problem). Whoever said you need to cook separate meals?
Just remember this: “I gerson, you gerson, we gerson, everybody gersons”. :)
I know, I know, "Gersonning is not a verb (yet).
I’ve got some insider tips so you can start incorporating the Gerson way of cooking and eating at home which will help you reach your goal of a new, energized and healthy you. Plus, there’ll be a bonus: your family will get healthy too! Now, who doesn’t want that?
1. Put yourself first
This is the one that is so obvious but probably the hardest to put into practice. (especially women seem to have a hard time with it). Note to your (over)concerned, motherly mind: this is not selfish at all!
"If your own bucket isn’t full and overflowing, you can't give to others without stealing from yourself." - Guru Singh
If you take care of YOU first, everybody will benefit. By the way, you deserve it!
2. Feed your family, friends, and neighbours
Get rid of this “I need to cook separately for myself” idea. Gerson meals are organic, nutritious, wholesome, flavourful and by definition benefit everybody.
They supply you, your family, and friends with anything you need: energy, good, clean nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and plant compounds), and lots of fluids to stay hydrated. They are free from added, excess salt and easy to digest.
No need to feel socially restricted when doing the therapy either. When someone invites you for lunch/dinner/BBQ/ … suggest making a dish to bring. When people see how good your platter looks, they’ll all want a piece of your cake and you'll be wishing you made more. (seriously, make enough)
Invite friends and family over to your house instead of eating out. Present those meals you feel confident in cooking. Guaranteed the others will be blown away!
3. Get rid of naysayers
You can never do right for everybody and you don’t need to. Do what feels right for you (and your family) and stick with it. Consistency is key. Some relations in life don’t last. That’s okay. We can all get over it while staying kind and civil to each other.
4. Lead by example
Don’t try and trick your kids into eating more fruits and veggies but get them involved in the prepping and cooking process. Let them help with shopping, washing, cutting, prepping the table, pouring drinks, and baking desserts. They will be more open to (new) textures, flavors, aromas, and sensations because they’ve helped to put it all on the table. They will be more prone to try new things. In the end, they will even start craving this way of eating, just like you will.
Be patient. Give your children time to transition to this type of lifestyle. If there's competing food in the house, it will always win. Similar to having a TV in the living room when all you want is to spend good quality family time playing board games or crafting - the TV will always win. All else will seem boring.
Clear out your fridge and cupboards and exclusively fill it with beautiful, organic, whole, unprocessed foods of which they're allowed to eat as much as they want. Leave healthy whole-foods baking or cook books laying around randomly in the house. The kids will flip through them and get ideas. Let them have the run of the kitchen in making fun healthy snacks, beverages and meals for everyone.
Don’t panic if you kids don’t eat a lot. They will never starve themselves (contrary to adults, they’re not attached to numbers on scales and how they might look but listen more to their bodies).
Should they still be hungry after dinner, give them a choice of other, healthy options to try and taste. Don’t make a big deal about them eating a lot or not a lot of food. Just keep leading by example and they will follow.
5. Keep it simple
Try out different recipes and choose 7 to 10 “winners”, i.e. meals that are liked by you and your family. Stick to these for a while. Keeping it simple and light. Everybody will be (and stay) happy because the meals are tasty and delish!
Once you’ve really got the hang of cooking them, get creative once more and start trying out new recipes – and remember, let your partner and kids help you!
Make a habit out of this. It makes the cooking less challenging.
These tips will set you up for success!
Remember: be gentle to yourself. It's human nature to not want to change our habits and our brains easily get hooked on intense flavors. Luckily our brains can easily be shaped and remolded. Keep putting healthy, whole foods on the table, and you and your family will start to love your healthy meals.
She loves going off the beaten path, following her (gut)- feeling and isn't shy to try new stuff. After all, nothing beats experiencing something yourself.
As a former university college teacher, researcher, independent (sports)dietitian and jack of all trades at a vegan restaurant, she has now discovered her life goal of teaching & helping others to work towards a healthy, energised life filled with love, peace & happiness.