I was a girl that loved chocolate milk, bread and butter, and the Double Decker Supreme at Taco Bell (hold the tomatoes). My parents tell me I was a pretty big candy addict too, throwing tantrums if I didn’t get my sugar fix. I remember eating McDonalds for lunch almost every day my senior year of high school. On the rare occasion that I had fruits it was usually strawberries
dunked in sprinkled with sugar, because I didn’t think they were sweet enough otherwise. I was a picky eater, not caring for anything “green”—you know, like broccoli, spinach, avocados—or any other fruits and vegetables for that matter. I was completely ignorant about nutrition and the implications it can have on a person’s health.
When I started college I was tired of struggling with my weight and confidence; being unable to keep up with sports, and dealing with asthma. I was now independent and completely responsible for what I ate. I decided to get “healthy.”
Unfortunately my definition of health was so far off. I though healthy meant skinny, as so many misinformed women think today. I went on a calorie-restricted diet and incorporated a lot of cardio. Of course I lost weight this way, but in no way was I healthy. I was tired! Mentally and physically I was dragging. I was excited to finally wear a size 2 but that excitement quickly faded when I realized this diet was not sustainable and was depriving my life of so much joy. I would panic thinking about my next meal or going to a social event. I cycled from eating whatever I wanted, then feeling guilty and trying to cut calories for a few days to “make up the difference.” My weight fluctuated as a result. It was not until I found the book “The Food Revolution” by John Robbins that my life changed and I quit dieting. Today I stand firm in the truth that food is not fear, it is fuel.
Any diet that deprives your life of joy is not a healthy one.
I learned about plant-based eating. Reading all of the evidence based benefits and research this type of lifestyle promised made it all the more alluring. I decided, after reading that book, that I wanted to feel my very best, be healthy, and heal my relationship with food.
I began focusing on eating more whole, unprocessed plant foods by incorporating fruits and vegetables into each meal and snack. It took some trial and error, and a lot of listening to my body, but eventually I learned what foods I thrived on and which ones did not work so well for me. It’s been 4 years now, and I continue to follow this way of eating pretty consistently.
This time I wasn’t following a diet, I was changing my lifestyle.
These are a few of the benefits I experienced as a result of switching to a sustainable, plant focused way of eating:
- I haven’t used my asthma inhaler in 4 years
- My taste buds changed (flavors are so much bolder to me now)
- I fell in love with fruits and veggies, which I previously despised
- Feel stronger and more energized
- I don’t get sick as often (or as severely)
- Healthy relationship with food
- I have found balance by focusing on overall wellness- physical, mental, emotional
- Reduced cravings
- Renewed confidence
- I’m not afraid of that scale!
Today I can confidently tell you I am on a growth path. I completed a course at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to receive my certification as a holistic health coach. I’m constantly learning about nutrition, finding ways to continually improve my own health, as well as help others find ways to positively change theirs.
I hope sharing my story will inspire you to learn more about health and wellness, and as a result make some positive changes in your own life. If you’re looking for a little guidance I’m happy to help.
*** Please share your story and/or thoughts in the comments below or email me at PrescribingHealth@gmail.com ***
Until next time,
[ Always check with your physician before making any major dietary changes or increasing the physical demands on your body. ]