Most of my life so far has consisted of sugar, fat and loads of preservatives. I always considered eating right as being boring, expensive and restrictive. That is, of course, until my body could no longer survive under these conditions and started to break down.
My body had been whispering to me for years to start rethinking food and I chose to ignore it. I loved sweets, fried food and basic garbage food and stubbornly refused to change.
While doing this I would wake up every morning feeling like I had not slept at all. I had to think about everything I did during a day and planned activities (like walking from the car to the grocery store, yes that was an activity for me) according to current energy levels which we always near empty.
I became easier to just sit, eat, drink and smoke. Of course the more I lived like that, the less I could do. Add a heaping serving of depression and anxiety and it is, truly, no wonder I didn’t have a heart attack.
Then along came Covid. I ended up ill from something else during the lockdown and when my legs were too weak to hold up my own weight, the voice inside went from whispering to yelling for change.
Since I could do barely anything else I started researching healthy diets. Not the ones where you need all sorts of special ingredients, but rather eating simple and fresh foods cooked properly. I started off slowly and with each change, no matter the size, I started to actually feel better. I wanted more!
Then I started to cut out unhealthy foods. I then added new tastes, textures and spices. I learned to make things by hand whenever possible so that I could control what I was eating. I learned ways to cut costs and not quality. I learned about planning meals and shopping as well as prep ideas. Now I’m obsessed with going further.
Food and all that goes with it has become my new obsession. A quite unexpected by product of this has been my new found joy in walking and doing some exercise–that was NEVER me.
I never understood good tasting food as my taste buds were perverted by all the sugar I consumed. Once I got away from that I started to crave healthy foods and certain spices. I lost my taste for meat and fried foods. Eating out used to be, basically, my only hobby. Now I want to cook or bake all my own food.
It certainly was easier when I wasn’t working and I feared that I would go back to my old ways when I went back to work. Truthfully, I fell off the vegetable cart a few times but now I think more critically. I made decisions not based on laziness but on good and solid options.
My life has literally changed completely. I still struggle with depression and a few physical problems but I cannot believe the difference. God gave us food to nourish and to heal. Yet we like and crave food which does neither. We have to be mindful (I’m sorry, such an overused word but fits in this context) of how we live. Where and how we buy our products, the best way to consume and store our food and how to quit making excuses for bad behavior.
I do not want to go back. That once beautiful, frosted, shimmering glazed donut now looks like not feeling good, becoming bloated and hurting my health. The “reward” of the taste is no where worth the risk. Never would I have thought this could be me.
Today I thank God for all the small local farms that are raising healthy nutritious food. That are fighting the big farms that only care about making money. I thank Him that organic foods are not just something you find once in a while. Not buying junk food has allowed me to afford more organic foods. I thank God for all the sources out there where, if you are willing, you can find recipes and tutorials for cooking for free.
A lot of things are going wrong in today’s world. I have learned to enjoy cooking and cleaning as my therapy and meditation. It used to be a chore I felt oppressed by, now I love the process and the final product of something cooked with love and care.
Today I hope you find that thing that feeds your soul and if it feeds the body too, all the better. I’m off to make a curry! Enjoy this day!