Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Evolution of Diet and Mindset
I must say that I have been evolving and changing my diet for the past 3 years. I like to think of it as weeding. For some background on me, a little over 3 years ago I became very sick with some sort of bacterial infection in my digestive system. I dealt with sharp pains in my stomach, unbearable heart burn, fatigue, fuzziness in thinking and concentrating, and many other ailments. That kept on until one day I just could not get out of bed. I called in sick and I called my doctor (that’s what you’re supposed to do right)?
I wish I knew then what I know now. My doctor spent 7 minutes with me….yes, just 7 minutes and he told me I had an ulcer and something else he wasn’t sure of, so he sent me off with 3 packs of antibiotics and requested testing and x-rays at the hospital. He gave me 4 pints of barium that I was to drink the night before the exam. Can I just say that banana flavored barium does not taste like bananas. It tastes awful like sugared chalk.
So I drank all 4 pints and I went to the hospital and waited for 2 hours for them to finally tell me that my insurance wouldn’t cover any of the tests and they had called my doctor a week ago to have him tell me. Frustrated, I said aloud, “Alright then, I’m going into work.” At that point the nurse told me that as soon as I have a cup of water, barium acts as a laxative. I showed the greatest restraint when the nurse handed me a bill for the barium.
That was when I realized that I had to do something. The healthcare system had failed me, my ailments were worse than ever and my flora was unbalanced (thank you anti-biotics). I couldn’t continue to live like this….sick all the time, too tired to be coherent, constant pain. I was 23. Is this what it’s like to get old? Man, they sure don’t make em’ like they used to. I had to take matters into my own hands.
During this turning point, I began the long process of cleaning up my diet. For some people this maybe simple, like grabbing a trash bag and with one easy swoop, emptying out the cupboards. For me, it was a process. I began paying more attention to food labels and reading almost anything I could get my hands on about nutrition, organic produce, GMOs, Sugar cravings, Food and Mood, Herbal Remedies, Orthomolecular Science, Japanese Cook Books, and so forth. I started meeting with nutritionists, other personal trainers, and I began going to seminars.
As time went on my pantry and refrigerator evolved many times. For example, I went from Jif peanut butter to Nutella to organic peanut butter to almond butter and finally to sun butter (sun flower seed butter). I eliminated things like MSG, HFCS, Sodium Benzoate, Soy and Canola Oil (non organic), anti-biotic laden meats and dairy, and recently gluten and wheat. Now if I have meat or dairy, it is almost always organic and I eat lots of veggies and I feel better everyday.
The toughest part about this evolution is that America’s concept of diet is so backwards. Your diet should not be a “one size fits all” concept. It should be tailored to meet your individual needs and lifestyle. Although it is common, it is not healthy to have to rely on coffee or sugar to get you through the day. Just because a sandwich comes with toppings, doesn’t mean you have to eat it that way. Stand up for your Mind Body Spirit and treat yourself with respect. Consider and evaluate any food allergies or sensitivities. Pay attention to your mood and energy levels after eating a meal. Educate yourself about the dangers of GMOs and preservatives and then start weeding them out of your diet. Keep a food diary so you can accurately keep track of what you ate, at what time you ate it, and how you felt afterwards. The first step is always the toughest, but do this for yourself. It can only lead to good things
“To be passive about health is to be lacking in self-respect and taking for granted our own capacity for beauty and happiness.” ( The Truth About Beauty, James).