“You are what you eat” (yada yada yada)… but what does that statement really mean? Are we really the sum of what we put in our bodies day after day, year after year? Hmmm, very interesting so let’s take a look…
I grew up in a very close-knit family with two siblings. Both of my parents had 9 siblings each and as kids, we spent a lot of time around our aunts and uncles. When we had family gatherings, there would always be an abundance of what has been coined as ‘soul food’. Both of my parents grew up on farms where there was plenty of fresh vegetables, fruit, whole grains and beans, but also chicken, beef, and others. I would say it was somewhat of a balanced diet, under the circumstances. There was always plenty of work to be done, which fostered a very active lifestyle. Both of my parents eventually left their homesteads to pursue a higher education and eventually settled into careers in the field of education as school teachers. My dad always worked at least two jobs while my mother worked during the day and kept the home in the evenings. She typically prepared breakfast and dinner on a daily basis, but as kids we always looked forward to an occasional fast food ‘treat’. Like most fast food victims, our family fell prey to it’s seemingly insatiable lure.
Fast forward twenty years when I began to notice a disheartening pattern. My relatives were getting ill and dying at fairly young ages. Although I didn’t question it at the time, I noticed that they were dying from complications stemming from diabetes. Between 1990-1998 diabetes was very prevalent and rose sharply, mainly due to obesity. Because diabetes was also thought to be hereditary, I became concerned about the possible risks of inevitably becoming a diabetic. My desire to break the vicious cycle of the ‘family illness’ intensified as I witnessed the devastating effects of the disease.
In the early 2000’s I read a book called ‘Get the Sugar Out’ by Anne Louise Gittleman. The book was chock-full of life changing principles on how to eliminate refined sugars from the diet. I was able to take away numerous practical tips and guidelines to begin the journey towards a healthier lifestyle. I implemented numerous ideas from the book (here comes the but), but it was not long before I settled back into some of my old eating habits.
I wouldn’t say my diet was horrible. Well, okay it was pretty bad. I’ve had some bouts with anemia and borderline high cholesterol at 135 lbs, 5’5” tall at forty something. Although at fifty something I’ve incorporated daily exercise and my diet has dramatically improved, its time to take it to the next level of total wellness. To accomplish this goal, it will require searching out foods that I’ve never tried, information that I’ve never heard and facts that I’ve never seen in order to achieve the aforementioned objective.
My quest is not intended to suggest, diagnose, or provide a cure for anyone’s health challenges, for I am not a doctor or dietician. The information that this blog provides is just that, information. Please join me in the quest for knowledge and enjoy the journey of enlightenment.
Eat. Drink. Be Well.