Yesterday, I added some new culture to my family’s diet with some delicious Afghani food. My dear friend Ghizal and I both packed up our little ones (both 3 years old and best buds!) along for a ride to the Middle Eastern specialty store in Houston. What a learning experience! I was surprised at the selection available in organic and specialty health products, though I shouldn’t be. The culture I was experiencing supports a strong Mediterranean-type diet, with such a fresh appeal. The amount of aromatic spices and savory sauces and dips available was delightful. I was like a kid in the candy store, and I plan to go back very soon!
The prices were comparable, and in some cases, better than the general market’s. I found the tofu I had been searching for, grabbed some wonderful Tzitziki sauce, and overindulged in teas, spices, and olives. The pita bread I bought fresh from the in-house bakery was so chewy and delightful, and a day later, the kids have almost finished it! I’m definitely going to get more of that next time, and bake it gently to make pita chips for the kids.
Later at home, Ghizal helped me cook yet another native Afghani dish, her ground turkey meatballs, as I provided a healthy and delicious Middle Eastern dinner for my family. For the sides, I made brown basmati rice in broth and popped a fresh frozen bag of veggies in the microwave, adding some cumin and lemon pepper to them for pizzazz in minutes. Frozen veggies are such a smart choice, as the vitamins and minerals in them are well-preserved from the freezing process.
Something that Ghizal and I noticed recently is something that has been resonating in me the more she and I get to know each other. No matter what the apparent and fascinating differences in our cultures, the more we realize we are just alike. The Hispanic and the Middle Eastern cultures are so similar in traditions, flavors, values, and much more. It is a fun experience to learn more about each other, and what we value most. She is even teaching me some Farsi.
The lesson I am learning is to embrace the joy of learning about cultures different than my own. All people are valuable, with something wonderful to instill in others, and I am learning this all over again firsthand! What other culture are you experiencing, and how do you embrace those moments?

Author's Bio: 

Bess Blanco is a passionate Life Coach and Author specializing in Family Health and Wholeness. Promoting Biblical health principles for the entire family, she has many published articles online and in print to her credit. Her impressive research combined with her own years of experience in the areas of health, balance, and finances have given her unique qualifications to share with today’s families how to live a healthier life. Her business, The Intentional Lifestyle, is an online guide for the Christian family making positive changes to their lifestyle for their overall health, home, and finances. Life coaching, tips and ideas, recipes, and cooking classes are just a few of the resources you will find at