Happy Birthday, Julia, From NYC Registered Dietitian

“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” ― Julia Child

If you mention Julia Child to anyone under fifty, they most likely know her through Julie & Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen, which was an insanely successful blog, followed by a book deal, followed by a movie starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. 

It’s hard to understand the indelible mark Julia Child had on American cuisine. How did one woman change thousands of Americans’ eating habits? And why does that matter?

What Julia Child did was make her passion – French cooking – accessible to everyone. She turned spending time in the kitchen and the act of cooking – what was thought to be tedious and mind-numbing – into a place where art happened. She celebrated food, flavors, and the act of creating a meal, beginning to end.

Plus she made it so that anybody could pull off Boeuf Bourguignon. 

This year, I’ve spent a lot of time on the blog discussing not what Americans eat but how. And I wish Julia Child was here to teach us all to slow down and learn how to make a cheese soufflé. But since she’s not, I will try to take some of Julia Child’s most cherished quotes and add my nutritionist/personal trainer take. 

  1. “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” I think this speaks for itself.
  2. “A party without cake is just a meeting.” Enjoy cake! Food is history, tradition, and culture. Imagine a holiday without your grandma’s potato kugel, mother’s apple pie. Flavors have hundreds, even thousands, of years of history. Learn how to make your aunt’s favorite dessert. Teach your children, teach a friend. Share your stories and history with food.
  3. “The only time to eat diet food is while waiting for the steak to cook.” When we have a healthy relationship with food, we don’t fall into the diet fads and myths. Eating and food aren’t enemies, instead moments to cherish and share and nourish ourselves and family. 
  4. “You’ll never know anything about anything, especially something you love.” I love this. As a dietitian and personal trainer, it’s critical for me to keep up on the latest information and studies. With internet and everything being so available, it’s easy to get caught up in kale crazes and coconut oil. 
  5. “You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” What we eat matters. Eating clean, eating healthy, and choosing in-season fruits, vegetables, and fish are easy ways to eat well. 
  6. “Life itself is the proper binge.” Binge on life, on experiences, on flavors, on connection. Fall in love with food, with your health, with your life again!

Today is Julia Child’s birthday. (She would’ve been 106 years old). This probably isn’t the most conventional blog post from a registered dietitian, but I think it’s an important one. 

Happy Birthday, Julia.