I promise this is not an endorsement for Uber. It's just that I have used their service lately and have learned some great lessons from their drivers that come from different cultures. They have taught me some valuable lessons that I would love to share with you.
One of my Uber drivers was from Bulgaria. He was a thin guy who looked very healthy. Being a nutritionist, I could not help but ask him about the food he grew up on and what type of foods he eats in the U.S. He told me that he and his wife buy their food from the market and cook their food at home.
Another driver was from Ghana. He too looked like a healthy man and seemed to have a lot of peace about him. When I asked him about his nutrition, he told me that he cooks his food at home. I asked if this was challenging for him to keep up with, and he replied no. He grew up eating home cooked food, and this is what he knows.
I also met a woman from Ethiopia. She mentioned that when she goes home to Ethiopia she eats a larger quantity of food than she does in the U.S. but loses weight! All the food is cooked at home. Her family lived in the U.S. for a period of time but decided to return home to Ethiopia. I asked her why this was and she told me that they did not feel they saw her much; all she did was work and did not take any time to relax and enjoy life. In Ethiopia, she said, everyone sits down for meals together and takes their time to eat and enjoy the company.
My top take-homes from these experiences were: 1) cooking at home is essential, and 2) in a world that is so fast-paced we need to take some time to enjoy our meals, the company around us, and life in general! I do not think it is too late to implement these concepts in the homes of Americans today. Where there is a will, there is a way!