Growing up, I was in the kitchen doing dishes at our family-owned restaurant.
Our home away from home was where we served the people of Snellville, GA, and brought home-style meals to their tables every day. I started waiting dining room tables around age 9, and the joy I found serving people blossomed from there.
After my first daughter was born, I continued to teach young girls the sport of horseback riding. This endeavor was hard – hot hours training in the sun and long nights at shows helped my students see the results of the hard work and dedication they put in. We learned that “What you PUT IN is what you GET OUT.” My intention and direction started with the mindset that I was “creating a good foundation for future success” in whatever their lives brought to the table next.
I didn’t realize that the foundation of love and service to people when I was young and waiting tables would cross into my adult life as a horse trainer and lesson instructor, and the passion continued to have a positive impact on how I raised my two daughters. I was no longer feeding the mind and bodies of customers at a family-owned dine-in restaurant but was now providing whole-body wellness to our family at the dining room table. I was committed to putting in hard work to care for my family and take care of our health and wellness from the foundation upwards.
When my second daughter was born, I remember seeing a loaf of month-old bread sitting on the counter – just as pretty as it looked on the day I purchased it. That’s when the chocolate milk slogan came to mind, “you are what you eat, from your head to your feet.” My husband and I knew something had to change. I observed the appearance of the bread – how soft and whole it seemed. I remember wondering how it stayed intact for weeks. That’s when I realized that the intact whole wheat bread was staying intact within my body; it didn’t have the capacity to break down like fresh fruits and vegetables do. I wondered why fruits and veggies are always pushed into every meal, and I wondered what happened to the foundation of the food pyramid I had seen when I was young.
My horseback riding program slowed when my family began to grow, so I began making bread to keep my hands busy. I was introduced to the concept of freshly milled flour that maintains all the nutrients, including the bran, the germ, and the endosperm of the wheat berry. I didn’t realize that my family wellness journey was about to thrive. I quickly found that even homemade bread could be brought to the next level of nutrition. I took on the challenge as any cowgirl would do. We experimented with cookies, cakes, loaf bread, cinnamon rolls, graham crackers, and even pretzels. I enjoyed eating the produce of the hard work in the kitchen and was intrigued to see that if the bread didn’t get eaten within a week, it began to mold. That is the point of confirmation when I knew just milled and baked bread had the capacity to break down like fresh fruits and vegetables. There was something different about this homemade, freshly milled, and recently baked bread product that may have been the foundation of the food pyramid at its original creation.
Consider a sliced apple sitting on your counter next to a slice of bread from the store. Observe the difference in how the two products evolve as time quickly passes by.
The foundation is truly where success begins, and I am here to encourage our PMA family to work from the inside out. Meditate on what you put IN your mind and body so you are confident with what comes OUT of your efforts and hard work. Feed your mind and body the fuel you need, not only to survive each day but to thrive in a way that you can be the best version of yourself. Our bodies are alive, and it’s time we serve ourselves just as we would a family or friend that walked into our home to visit or the front doors of our small family restaurant.
We start with whole grains, literally, and mill them to make flour. The flour is the foundation of every bread product we make. Let’s start with a good foundation for future success in our wellness journey!
What can I help you put on the table when your family sits down at their next meal?
– Caitlyn Foster | Chief Healing Baker