The way we eat directly correlates to our quality of our life. Beginning five years ago, I put a stop to eating meat, pork, and chicken. I’m a pescatarian meaning I eat fish. Eating fish that’s caught wild is a beautiful source for healthy protein. When I was young, I was raised in Texas and on the steak and potato diet. As a child, I didn’t realize that diet plays a huge part in the way I feel everyday. On the other hand, I didn’t have the authority to decided my menu it was decided by my parents. For most of us growing up, we experienced the same central theme, mom shopped and cooked, and therefore she ultimately selected what the family will eat for all meals. Remember: our parents know what they were taught by their parents, what they were fed, and they know different only if only they began looking outside of the prescribed box of recipes and acceptable food. Sidebar: Remember 5ALIVE orange juice? It came in a tiny metal can in the freezer section of the grocery store, it was orange juice concentrate, and that’s what we thought REAL orange juice was. Wow, how far off we were. Orange juice is made of oranges not high fructose corn syrup, not added sugar, and no artificial flavors, just oranges that’s it. We’re finally in 2015 coming around to this brand of knowledge and understanding.
Back to my childhood steak and baked potato diet: My mother wasn’t raised with financial means. She was accustomed to eating the school provided food when she was young and what ever her mother could afford to feed her and her sister. Because of that, when my mom became a mom, she wanted me to eat better than she had. I was served what was coined as the meal that means you have “means.” Meaning: Steak and baked potato dinner was at one time the sign of being successful and having the high life. At no time did my mom think it wasn’t good for me, heck the meat industry had been touting beef as the only source of protein for an extremely long time. We ate steak and potatoes at least three times a week, the other nights we had pork chops, or some other type of beef product. We didn’t eat fish, rarely any grains, and very few vegetables except asparagus to go with our streak and potato dinners.
As I grew up, I educated myself on different cultures and began to realize that in other countries streak and potato weren’t eaten. It wasn’t until I went to college when I met people from all over the world and began to realize how our environment, media, and parents/family impact our lives. College are the years of little care for our health and wellbeing however I did stop eating steak. I realized it didn’t make me feel good. I began to understand that vegetables and chicken worked better for me, and I began to eat that in-between the pizza and beer nights. After graduating from college and beginning another degree, I began to realize I had to reshape my diet. I was extremely thin but my entire life I’d dealt with a rare “disease.” I rarely if ever felt good, usually I could put on a remarkable act, but once home collapse. Throughout the years, beginning as a young child, I knew I needed to do what I could to better my life and accept the rest at least until they could diagnosis and understand my situation.
By doing more research, I realized how important diet is to the body. I continued to study a vegetarian diet, eating fish, and I began to realize the importance of vegetables and fruits. I began to force myself to eat vegetables, because it wasn’t second nature, I had to work at it. My first thought when it came to Brussel sprouts was to hide them under the other food on the plate and just throw them out when I finished. Realizing I was just hurting myself, I began to slowly integrate these vegetables into my diet. Collard greens, spinach, kale, Brussel sprouts, lettuces, bell peppers, and the list goes on.
As I adopted a heavy vegetable diet coupled with fish, I began to feel different, lighter, and coupled with an overwhelming feeling of wellbeing. When you’re eating correctly for your body, you rarely if ever have acid reflux, you don’t burp that much, and you have regular consistent bowel movements. Before I began eating like this, I had constant acid reflux was on the purple pill twice daily and didn’t understand why this was happening to me. It was happening to me because I was eating the wrong foods, eating to much of them, and usually eating later than I needed too. Try eating greasy and fattening foods, finish dinner around 10pm, and going to bed a few minutes later. No one’s going to feel good. Yes, there are some of you out there with an iron stomach. That iron stomach doesn’t last FYI. When I was younger I would taut that I had an amazing iron stomach but it abruptly ended. (Apparently iron stomachs aren’t standard issue in this lifetime!)
I created a personal eating plan for myself that I still use today. In the next blog, I will discuss how to choose wisely, how to know what is good for you, and how to stick to it and not give up. Creating and adhering to a dietary plan is imperative to your health and future. Diet is the gateway for a beautiful long life or a life filled with health issues and early death or a miserable second half of your life. Don’t sign up for a death sentence by eating your way to death. Instead sign up for a health sentence by doing right for your body and creating a hospitable atmosphere for health to thrive!