IndigenousWell™

We live on a rural family “compound” north of Tahlequah where my parents are the “next door neighbors” down the hill from us. It’s the single greatest gift I’ll ever give to my son, the fact that he can walk freely between our houses. He gets to see his Nana and Papa every day, the way many of us grew up and if more people could have that, there would be a whole lot less problems in this world. In the mainstream media, Indian country gets tagged with a bunch of buzzwords but “family values” usually isn’t one of them. I wish we all got more credit for that. It’s the bedrock of most of our communities.

My parents would think it was child abuse if I made my kid eat the way we are trending. Then again, it’s hard to talk about, but my terrible eating habits (sorry mom) came from several generations of people that just frankly, eat like crap. Like my recent alcohol post, there has to be a middle ground, right?

Nana is the best mother and grandmother in the world. She’s hard wired for it in a remarkable way I can’t fully describe. The boy gets more and better treats at Nana’s house than he does at home. Probably as it should be, but possibly we need to figure out better ways to show our love than sugar. Lucky thing for my kid, love is absolutely all around him. He’s awash in love, with or without the mini hershey bars. And to be fair, he gets his fair share of chips and chicken nuggets on my watch too. And I’m responsible for him being more of a couch potato than he should be, especially since March.

So my approach for now is: do what you can. Talk about being healthier. Lead your kids to better choices. Let them know how heart disease and diabetes is killing our people and that in a world of things we cannot control, we CAN get control of our health.

Here’s what we’ve settled on in our house:

  • Drink water only. He weaned himself off of milk last year. We keep ice cold H2O handy.

  • Limit sweets to one a day.

  • Consciously exercise more.

  • Get some fruits and protein.

  • We’ll work on the veggies.

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