My Mom aka Neera.
Mom was born in Hatras, India. She was the third child with two older brothers and a younger sister. My mom’s family was blessed to have a house that they had inherited but not much more than that. Mom was not a very healthy child and was often lethargic. Considering food was sometimes scarce and nutrition was not a primary thought this was not a huge surprise. As a result of their financial situation my mom went to an ayurvedic doctor when she got sick instead of the expensive allopathic doctor. When she was 12 years old the Ayurvedic doctor told her that the root to her health was her stomach and digestive system and gave her a few tips to ensure perfect health – drink lots of water as soon as you get up in the morning and make sure you ‘detox’ completely every day ie. have a full and complete bowel movement. My mom immediately integrated everything he said and began feeling much better.
In 1969 mom had an arranged marriage to my dad and a moved to (very foreign) Toronto, Canada where nothing resembled what mom knew – least of all the food! Mom had three daughters from 1971 – 1981. My sisters and I were raised on meals made from scratch and, embarrassingly, were asked every day if we had proper bowel movements! In our house no food was ‘forbidden’ as long as we ate what we were supposed to first. I remember home cooked meals with a giant pile of cookies waiting for me after dinner… by the time I got through dinner I was too full for dessert! It was a strategy that never made me feel deprived and at the same time built solid nutritional habits.
Mom’s art had always been cooking – she added yoga instructor to her skills and began giving yoga and cooking classes from home. Through these classes many people began asking for her cereal (a recipe she wasn’t sharing!) and that is how the demand for my mom’s cereal began…