Saturday, February 4, 2012

You Are What You Eat

After a respectful time acknowledging the personal losses of January, I'm back to discuss my passion which happens to be nutrition.

If you had told me, at fifty something years of age, my life path would be dedicated to keeping myself nutritionally fit and sound, I most certainly would have laughed at you.  I was like so many people who select what they eat based either on their pocketbook or their taste buds.  It wasn't because I didn't care about how I felt or the way I looked or even how I would be as I entered the second half century of life.  I most certainly did.  I simply wasn't educated in the area of nutrition. Very few of us are, so don't even feel badly.  What I do want you to feel is curious.

Having had a run in with high blood pressure about 5 yrs ago, having been overweight and feeling as if I was slowing down in my life, I began the quest  to find out the connection between what I ate and how I felt.  Trust me, it did not take long to learn what I needed to know.  It take a bit longer to learn all I needed to know and as quickly as the prices change at  your local grocery store, the information about what is available to us in the forms of food changes.

My initial "eye opening" experience came after seeing the online video "Food Inc.".  There I learned how the food I saw in the grocery stores was mass produced.  I learned how many chemicals and preservatives were being added to those "shelf foods" and those cuts of meats in order to either ensure "quality" or shelf life.  As I learned about these facts, it became abundantly clear that the food we eat every day was not the food we were created to eat.  Our illusion of food has been manufactured right along with the food they sell us.

Another online video that changed the way I saw food was "Food Matters".  Then I viewed "King Corn" and once again, I found myself appalled at the manner in which our diets had been altered without knowledge or consent on the part of the consumer.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those radical food people that hates big business or the magic of marketing.  I understand its a way of life and will never really go away.  What I do not like is that people are getting sick, getting fat and are surely dying because of their personal choices and sadly because they simply don't know any better.  I can say that because not very long ago, I was one of them.

With ever sharpening clarity, I began to see a better way to live and eat.  It all came down to my choices.  When I walked into the grocery store, I had two choices.  I could eat what tasted good (and ultimately would hurt me) or I could choose healthy foods that might cost a bit more but would be more in line with my body's nutritional needs.  The choice was life or die.  I had to pick.

In an effort to learn more of the foods available to me, I began using the Sparkpeople site to manage not only calories, carbs, proteins, fats and sodium but also a long list of vitamins and nutrients.  I was determined to get my weight down and what my body needed through food and not supplements.  I figured way way back when the body was made, we  had no processed foods, no supplements and no fast food.  At its beginning the body was sustained on what the Earth provided.  I wanted to see if I could achieve daily goals by making smart food choices.  It worked.  With the quick aide of the Sparkpeople site, I lost weight.  Alot of weight.  And I'm still losing weight and more importantly, I feel great. 

Just before the holidays, I happened upon a video on called "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead". When I finished that video, I knew what was next for me in my quest not only to improve my health but to offer that option to my family.  I began juicing.

I must admit, prior to the video, the mere thought of juicing was not appealing at all.  I mean, who can drink all that stuff.  Well I can and its not bad at all.  I invested a modest amount of money in a juicer and got my first taste and loved it.  As a bonus, I could see my vitamin and nutrient values soar on the Sparkpeople site where I charted my foods.  Sadly, my cheap juicer died.  You get what you pay for indeed.  But it had given me a chance to see if this was something I really wanted to do.  Had I not liked it, I would have not felt badly about the little money lost.  Now, I had to secure a better juicer, one that could go the distance with me.

I shopped around and decided that I would go with the brand from the "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" video.  I purchased my Breville Juice Fountain and off I went.  What I have found simply amazing is that when I talk about my juicing, people are interested, they want to try it.  I have referred this video to many people and it has taken them from the fear to the feast of nutrition.  I am honored to have been the guide on their journey.

What is quickly realized when one starts juicing is when your produce is on the counter ready to be converted to liquid is exactly how much food you would have to ingest in order to get the nutritional values we need.  Its a huge amount of food and an amount I could never take in during the course of a day.  But refine it down to juice and its more than doable.  Another thing I noticed is how much the body loves the juice.  By the third day of not juicing, my body begins to crave it.  It knows what it needs. 

I encourage each of my readers to at least view one of the videos I've mentioned in this blog.  Become hungry for knowledge not for food.  Learn.... then eat.  Be assured that those that stand to make money from either your current food cravings or from the illnesses that are sure to follow as a result of mindless eating, care not about your health.  You must be a champion for you.  You must be selfish in that department and once you have gotten your life on track, you must let others know there is a better way to live.

I wish each of you love and good health in this new year.  Remember, every new day is a new change waiting to be created.

Be well....

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