Quinn on Nutrition: The wisdom of mothers and daughters

May 9, 2016

Motherís Day comes right on the heels of my birthday. Sorry family, but itís a two week fling of which I take full advantage.

As I drove to visit my youngest daughter at the "please spoil me" Sorrel River Ranch Resort where she works in Moab, Utah, I thought about my mom.

She surely would have enjoyed the scenery of this trip along the path of the Colorado River from the Continental Divide to the southern edge of Arches National Park. And I thought of the nourishment she brought to my life.

My mom taught me early that a meal was not a meal unless it included at least one vegetable along with the main course. She showed me the value of sharing food and special occasions with others. And she demonstrated grace when ó after my first semester of college nutrition ó I came home for a visit and proceeded to tell her all the wrong she had been doing with her cooking. 

Now I wish I had told her more of the things she did right. How now, when I pour a cup of tea from the delicate china pot she painstakingly painted for my birthday one year, I so enjoy and appreciate her talents. 

Now Iím the mom. And when I arrived at this idyllic scene nestled in a green valley among towering red rocks, I learned how the Colorado River meanders through canyons, muddy with mountain run-off in the spring. Along its path, it gains strength from the contributions of various tributaries. 

Farther downstream, the river becomes clear as its debris slowly settles. By the end of its journey at the gulf of California, the grand Colorado ó having fed dry lands and thirsty people along the way ó may be just a trickle of water. My mom would have understood that.

And then the fun began. Before heading out the next morning, we ate a sensible breakfast ó hot oatmeal with almonds, cranberries and a sprinkle of brown sugar. We took bottled water for our hike through the majesty of Arches National Park. And thatís about where our reasonable eating stopped.

Dinner at an exclusive resort after all, should be a special treat. Never mind the details but just know that the surprise berry shortcake dessert followed by complimentary sips of blue tequila with a flaming lime topped off a very special meal. 

But wait, we werenít through. Our host fired up the outdoor fire pit and presented us with individual baggies of marshmallows, miniature chocolate bars and graham crackers. Símores around the fire with the gentle sound of the river nearby. Priceless.

My daughter summed it up this way: "Itís not what you eat; itís who you eat with." Very true, especially on birthdays and Mothersí days.




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