What’s Ariffa Eating?

Over the years, I’ve become extremely independent when it comes to cooking for myself. My mom still cooks dinner most nights. but I usually make my own food. It’s not because her food is bad or unhealthy at all! My mom hates to cook but is so good at it, and she’s also pretty health conscious (I got it from my mama) so I would happily eat her food.

The only thing is, I like weird food. Weird to most, common amongst the blogosphere.

Gurgle Gurgle

My immediate family, actually my mom and brother, still kind of working on my dad… have accepted the fact that I like spinach in my smoothies, peanut butter on everything, yogurt mixed with raw oatmeal, raw tofu dipped in Dijon mustard… Yes, spaghetti with shrimp and veggies is normal dinner food… but what if I REALLY want a smoothie?! I try and feed my body exactly what it wants and I find the only way that that’s going to happen is if I make it myself.

Also, my eating style is much different than the rest of my family. In a nutshell, it looks a little like:


aka: mostly vegan/ vegetarian, ocassional fish and seafood, and though the rest of meat is not completely off the table, it just doesn’t appeal to me at this point in my life. I tried eating chicken a few weeks ago and all I could think was ‘I wish this chick-en would turn into chick-peas’

While I’ve gotten them on my side for a few things –my mom loves peanut butter and kale chips! and my brother drives me places in exchange for me making him a bowl of oatmeal, my dad… I’m still working on my dad– family get-togethers with extended family is where it gets tricky.

It is a complete obsession of the women in my family (including myself, but not to the extremes of the moms!) to make sure everyone is well fed and every single family get together consists of an over abundance of the same foods without fail: Fried samosas, fried kabobs, oily, meaty curries, oily white rice, fried yucca, fried potatoes, and for dessert, fried dough balls soaked in syrup with a fruit salad [canned fruit cocktail soaked in sweetened condensed milk]

My name is Ariffa. I like healthy food and junky foods alike. Some days I eat pizza the size of my face, frozen yogurt or cupcakes for lunch and lose count of my drinks most of the time when I go out. The thing is, I participate in these ‘unhealthy indulgences‘ when I want to.

When I’m at a family get together and people start asking why I’m not eating, I tell them I’m a vegetarian, because I know ‘I’m not hungry’ is not good enough and ‘I really don’t want any of that’ is not polite. I’m not even really a vegetarian.

When I tell them I’m a vegetarian, they direct me to the vegetable samosas, fried potatoes etc. what do I say then?

I have a stomach ache, I already ate, I’m going out with friends to eat later.

I hate that I have to do this. None of that is true! In fact, I AM hungry and would really appreciate a healthier option. I don’t exactly enjoy the awkward vibe of not participating in dinner with my family but I also don’t feel that I should have to apologize for wanting to make healthy choices and I shouldn’t have to eat foods that will make me feel like dirt if I eat them (bloating, heart burn, stomach aches, fatigue —yes, I’m 85 years old). It’s not just the unhealthy foods either! I don’t eat avocados because they kill me, I even avoid apples now because I’ve noticed that they give my stomach a funny feeling (thank goodness for juicing!). So, it’s not about denying myself, or making excuses so that I don’t have to eat greasy foods, it’s about getting the food pushers off my back because I am old enough to decide when and what I want to eat. I know that they mean well and they are all very good hostesses who want all of their guests to be fed and happy.

What doesn’t make me happy is when I politely decline and get “Ok, ok, you’re on a diet” and whats worse is the looks I get when I decide that those potatoes do look kind of good, I think I’ll have a couple. It’s frustrating, but some people can’t seem to grasp the concept that being healthy is not an all or nothing deal, but I need to practise patience, after all, I used to be one of them!

I don’t like eating when I’m not hungry, a strange concept to some.

I don’t like eating fried things or sweets or fried sweets on a regular basis.

I don’t deny the fact that these foods taste good but so do my foods which I would choose any day over their unhealthily counter parts


I don’t appreciate the attention that is called to the fact that I’m not eating

I don’t appreciate the attention that is called to the fact that I AM eating

I don’t appreciate the fact that this is even an issue. 

My grandma is in town from Toronto, she’s so cute and funny and from what I heard, makes amazing fish!

I woke up from a nap yesterday with the smell of delicious fishy curry wafting through the air and I meandered down to the kitchen to see the little one working away in front of the stove. She said that they have a plain piece of fish in the fridge for me.


This was actually a very sweet gesture, my mom seems to understand my ‘healthy balance‘ thing, so she assumed that I’d prepare and eat the fish the way that I wanted.

Frozen then fried samosas, greasy kabobs and oily curries whose flavour I really don’t prefer will always be there. But my little granny is in town for a few weeks, I’ve heard about this fish for-EVER and now it’s here. Fried, curried and served with a side of white rice. and I will happily indulge in this oily ball of delicious

The usual foods at our frequent family get togethers? they’re like… costco sheet cakes or walmart cookies. Always available, nothing special, not ‘worth it’

This on the other hand…

Was completely worth it.

How do you handle food pushers? 


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