Six years ago, I sat in a doctor’s office with my father as he was told that his cancer was spreading and his bladder would have to be removed. Hoping to avoid this radical surgery, my father made an appointment to see a doctor who specialized in alternative medicine. Unfortunately, this doctor did not have a solution for my father.
Sitting next to my father facing the doctor, I couldn’t help but ask. “Doctor, I am scared of cancer. I have this stuff in my genes and I have little kids to take care of. What can I do to avoid getting cancer?” He didn’t think twice before saying, “Don’t eat sugar.” We had a long conversation about what that meant and what I should do. As we walked out of that office that day, I committed to changing my eating habits. What I didn’t know then was that I was changing my life, and my family’s lives.
By 2012, my husband, who had adopted my new eating habits, had lost about 50 pounds. I, too, realized significant weight loss, even though I was not overweight to begin with. I began this blog back then with the hope of sharing what I had learned about healthy eating and nutrition. I have written about this for years but as time passed, I evolved and so did my blog posts. I find myself writing about more than just healthy eating and food. I write about life. I’ve contemplated opening a separate blog—a place where I can share my thoughts if they are not related to food—but I’ve decided to stay put here at pile on the greens.
“Pile on the greens” was born from a conversation my husband had with our beloved doctor one day. My husband was at his annual checkup (which wasn’t quite annual) and was making confessions to his doctor about his poor lifestyle choices: He didn’t exercise enough, he drank too much wine, he ate bigger portions than necessary. Unlike most doctors, my doctor withheld judgment. Instead of scolding my husband (which is what he expected) the doctor offered a simple suggestion: “Orlando, whenever you serve yourself food, just pile on the greens. Add as many greens to your plate as possible.” My husband left feeling hopeful instead of deflated. That simple suggestion will forever affect the way my husband looks at a plate of food. That simple suggestion began my husband’s transformation.
“Pile on the greens” became our family mantra, representing so much more than just an extra serving of broccoli. This wise and simple principle has encouraged us to pile on more of the “good stuff” in life—super food for the body as well as for the soul. That’s why I’m sticking with Pile On The Greens as the place to share my work.
Here at Pile On The Greens, you will find recipes my family and I love, as well as posts about nutrition and exercise. But this site is not only about healthy eating. This site is about relationships. You will also find articles about parenting, love and loss, and matters of the heart. You will read about leaving a legacy and being there for your loved ones even when you’re not physically there. Here you will find that piling on the greens is about piling on the goodness…in all aspects of your life.
Thank you for staying with me, evolving with me, and being a part of our journey.