I believe it goes without say that we should all be very thankful and grateful to our parents for everything they have done for us throughout our lives and the lessons that have formed and shaped us into the adults we are today.

This particular thank you is for the lessons I have learned from my mother and grandmother's on cooking. 

As far back as I can remember my brother and I would sit in the kitchen as young children and watch my mother cook and prepare all of our meals. Whether it was our everyday meals to the bigger holiday meals. At the time we really sat there waiting to eat more so than the lessons that we were getting without realizing we were learning. The meals we ate as children were almost always home cooked, there were the odd pizza nights and rarely the bike ride over to Burger King. 

The early lessons came from just watching and spending time in the kitchen with our mother and grandmother's and just watching and then as we got a little older we would ask more questions and then we would ask to help and that is where the real lessons began. There is something very special about the kitchen and the feeling of cooking together and making food with love for the family to enjoy together. This is sadly something missing from the Standard American Diet (SAD), which is an appropriate acronym. Have you noticed that when family and friends all get together, the area everyone gravitates to is the kitchen? In my home we have everyone pulling up chairs and stools and we gather around the main kitchen counter as we prepare the foods we are going to eat that day.

I began cooking at a fairly young age at home always enjoyed being in the kitchen. In high school I took a home economics class in which a big part of the curriculum was cooking. Some friends made fun of that at the time, but my response was "hey, while you are in Geometry, I am cooking, eating and in a class with all the girls", that ended the teasing immediately! When I was 15 yrs. old I began working in a local luncheonette cooking breakfast and lunches for people from the neighborhood. Much of the food was traditional simple breakfasts and burgers and sandwiches for lunch, but it was still cooking with mainly fresh ingredients. 

At the time when we were young we did not realize that all the time we spent with my mom in the kitchen that we were learning lifelong lessons that we would take into our adult life. Now I get to cook and enjoy healthy home cooked meals with my Mom, Dad and the rest of our family.

My wife and I love to cook healthy whole foods and enjoy family meals with our kids. Our two oldest children enjoy cooking and we are beginning to teach our nine year old son the importance of health eating and cooking so he too can appreciate and enjoy the benefits of eating and living a healthy lifestyle.

So to my mom Lynn Burke, and all of the other moms that took the time, care and love to teach us the importance of cooking and family meal times, thank you!! 

Re-posted by Peter Burke 11/4/14


There has been a lot of press lately regarding National Awareness Months for Breast Cancer in October and  now November is National Awareness Month for COPD, Diabetes, Alzheimer's, National Bone Marrow Cancer, Lung Cancer and Pancreatic Cancer Awareness. Every one of these causes and diseases deserve all of the attention and awareness that they can get. The messages are all about informing the public about these terrible diseases, fund raising and finding a cure. Unfortunately the message missing with most of this is the prevention aspect, there really is a need to get the American public to realize and understand many diseases are preventable and in many cases reversible with the proper nutrition, living a healthy lifestyle and limiting toxic environmental exposure.

When I speak with people about what they are doing to prevent having health problems in the future the most common answer is " I get physicals every year", or "what do you mean?", or "I wait until I get sick". The fact is the most of the chronic diseases that are plaguing the US are diet related. Obesity, Cancer and Diabetes are leading the way. While I fully support every effort to find a cure for every single disease, there is a great need for the education of prevention. Many people are the living the "I'll wait until I get sick" lifestyle. I see this everyday in my Health & Nutrition practice. When I first begin working with new clients there are a variety of health issues that they are having to deal with due to not being aware of the damage they were doing by eating and/or living a certain lifestyle. The good news is that when they make a commitment to change to a healthy sustainable lifestyle before they get sick, they experience better understanding through education on how to eat right, understanding nutrition and how their body performs to a much higher level when it is properly nourished and the importance of living a healthy and happy lifestyle. Many people fear change, but by making it fun and inclusive with your family and friends you will get the support you need to succeed!

There is really nothing more important than learning and making the commitment to your own health and make an investment in your own health. This needs to be done at the family level because large corporations, food manufacturers, or government is not going to be creating a National Month of Preventive Health Awareness. It must be done at home. It can be done through self education, Health Coaching, and research. 

I am in committed to making National Preventive Health Maintenance Awareness an every month campaign.

Be Well!

Peter Burke