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The Torsney Heritage Cookbook, or How the Healthyish Family Began

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picture of family in a 3 ring binder

Many years ago when I was in college, I wanted to learn how to cook. Food Network was just starting up, and I really didn’t know where to start. My mom decided that instead of just helping me learn a few simple things, she would create a family cookbook. She asked my aunts for their favorite recipes and compiled it all in the “Torsney Heritage Cookbook.” Over the years, I’ve added to it and adapted it to suit my and my family’s tastes, but it always has a place of pride in my home.

Many years later, much has changed in my family. I have graduated college, medical school, gotten married, had 2 children. My siblings and cousins are all leading adult lives, and my parents are both working through their “retirement” years, as are so many people nowadays. Still, despite all the changes, we as a family love to cook.

Of course, being a doctor means I now know much more about nutrition than I did when I was in college. I can no longer live on chicken fingers and bowls of sugary cereal. But I still love food like that. It tastes good, honestly. But I have learned ways to make the foods I like in a healthier way. Sure, it’s never just going to be superfood salads and macrobiotic diets for my family (my daughter and I share a deep unswerving sweet tooth), but there are a lot of tricks to adding healthier touches and more vegetables to our diets.

brownie cake with ice cream, decorative chocolate drizzle
Image via Pixabay. Chocolate is my kryptonite…

My mother has always been an excellent cook. She learned from Julia Child, after all. She’s a pretty smart lady, too. When my father had a heart attack in his 50s, she changed the way she cooked and served meals so that she could prepare heart healthy foods for him without him feeling like he was sacrificing. Those changes have made it easier for him to stay on a healthy diet for over a decade. Maintenance with any diet is really the key, and my mom has inspired me to make the same changes in my cooking. Simple things: use fruit and vegetable purees, add vinegars or citrus juice instead of salt. Though I learned some of this in medical school, much more has been learned “on the job.”

This is not a diet blog, it is a lifestyle blog. As a family doctor, I know that “diets” are fraught with peril. They are great for a few week, but if they are too drastic, you cannot maintain them. I believe firmly that taking baby steps add up to big changes. My family is not perfect. We struggle with our food choices and weight and health issues, but we try. We try every day to live a little healthier, be a little fitter, have a bit more energy.

Here my mom and I will share with you recipes, tips, and doctor-approved lifestyle changes that can help you and your family be a little healthier. We hope you will join this journey with us.

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