A little baby girl (me!) is born in Washington, D.C. Around this time, scientists working with the sugar industry on health research are downplaying the dangers of sugar and putting much of the blame on fat. This isn't discovered until nearly 50 years later. (See 2010s, below.) But these research findings support the concept that low to no fat is healthiest, and that we should eat more carbohydrates in our diet.
Today, the average woman is as large as the average man was in 1960, according to this Washington Post article from 2015. And 7 out of 10 of us are overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Diabetes is skyrocketing.
My mother warns me to limit my egg consumption to four eggs a week. She teaches me how to bake bread. I become the Florida 4-H state champion in yeast breads, and learn to love my whole grains. The first McDonald's comes to my hometown. We are very excited. Butter is no longer used in our house. We use margarine now.
Meanwhile, I stop drinking any sodas, because of my swim coach's requirements. I rarely ever have another soda again. It's been at least 25 years since I've had one.
My diet has by now become low fat. I rarely eat eggs, red meat or cheese. I eat lots of vegetables, plant proteins and plenty of grains. Food is a little bland in this low fat world. But I feel healthy, because I'm following the health recommendations of recognized experts.
In 1991, the United States Department of Agriculture hires the public relations agency Porter Novelli in Washington, D.C. to create the pyramid graphic, which becomes the symbol for the nation's nutritional guidelines for many years. I pride myself on eating this way. (Ironically, I work years later for Porter Novelli's public relations office in Los Angeles.)
I move to the German Alps, where I am introduced to a strong focus on cooking from scratch and using local ingredients. Mountain trout, anyone?
The new century rings in a greater love of vegetables. I become a Master Gardener in California and Idaho, teaching people how to grow their own organic food in different climates. I travel nationwide from Boston to Seattle to speak about growing veggies, and I write articles in national magazines about this topic. I start a blog called SeasonalWisdom.com about gardening and food. My backyard is filled with homegrown produce for me and my friends. It still is!