Travel, Blogging and Eating with Mom

In the spirit of Mother’s Day, I’d thought I’d give a shout out to my mom and her blog. Because my mom is also a teacher with the summertime off, she’s spent quite a few hours traveling with me over the past year. Because of this Mom has been subject to many blog-related travel delights and woes. I’ve subjected her to delayed hotel check out’s because my pictures were loading to slowly, travel to strange places because no one else has written about them (hello, North Dakota), sudden swings off the road to take pictures, and strange travel desires (“I hope we get towed here! How cool would Modes-tow be for a blog title!?!” I’d exclaimed in the crappy central California town. Luckily for Mom we did not get towed there). She’s happily endured camping in a mosquito-infested sinkhole by the train tracks in Montana, hiking through the Rocky Mountains in the pouring down rain, and eating every fried-on-a-stick-food in Minnesota. Best of all, she usually pays for more than her fair share of the trip! What a deal J

Instead of resenting blogging, Mom has embraced it. A few months ago she started her own. Plate and Planet is her sustainable nutrition/healthy eating blog. She did NOT do a post on Minnesota State Fair food. Check out her blog for gardening tales, advice on how to trick your family into eating healthy, commentary on the sustainability of soy burgers, tips how to cook without a kitchen, and recipe for her rhubarb bars that actually are pretty good.

The fact that I not only read but sometimes even follow the advice of Mom’s blog is actually kind of a miracle. My eating habits have been a constant source of pain and frustration for my poor Mom. Until I reached the embarrassing age of twenty-two I was the pickiest eater in the world, refusing anything except spaghetti, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese and Doritos. Travel solved this problem, as none of this food was available in China. After starving for a couple weeks I finally broke down and expanded my food repertoire. Mom wishes she would have sent me to China at age five.

But my anti-nutritious streak wasn’t over yet. Just as I was getting over my healthy food aversions, I moved to Las Vegas where I started eating several pounds of bacon at buffets each Sunday. Then I married a fast-food aficionado and discovered Taco Bell. Travel again saved the day, as a trip to Colorado a few years ago caused me to fall in love with the healthiest state in the USA. Mom is delighted that I now live surrounded by composting/gardening/Food-Inc loving vegans who gasp in horror when I mention that I kinda like McDonalds. So now I HAVE to read her blog so I have something to talk about with my fellow Denver-ites.

So Mom: Thanks for all the travel memories. I can’t wait to go to Wisconsin, Kentucky and Tennessee this summer. You’re paying for gas right…? J And even though I’ve been a tough convert, thanks for the healthy eating knowledge. I’m going to go make a kidney bean salad RIGHT NOW I swear. Just as soon as I finish this Drive-Thru hamburger (just kidding!) And don’t worry, this post wasn’t your present – the real one is in the mail.

Mother's Day, sustainable nutrition, travel with mom

Jenna Vandenberg

Teacher, writer, runner, mom and wife.

Comments (3)

  • Thanks, Jenn. This was a great Mom’s day present–and you even sent me another one? Wow. I have to confess that I was just as responsible as you were for the mosquito-infested camping and probably the hiking in the rain. And at least these travel snafus make good blog stories……not to mention expanding your culinary horizons. Thank you, China!

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