April 6, 2011

What We Eat Matters. Who Knew?

I had a health scare about ten years ago.  One that required a bit of surgery.  A team of doctors decided that a five-year course of medication, one with potentially serious side effects, was a must.  That decision didn't feel quite right to me.  I asked for guidance about making lifestyle changes and improving my diet :: maybe they could recommend some books about health and nutrition.  I received blank stares.

I began searching online and reading every book I could get my hands on.  I stopped drinking soda and incorporated more vegetables into my diet.  I started shopping at an organic market and had smoothies with flax oil for breakfast.  As each year passed, I learned a little more about "good" foods and "bad" foods.

I learned that eating too much sugar causes Candida.  I'd been struggling with chronic infection for twenty years and had no idea it was diet-related.  I began noticing a remarkable difference in my energy level and my outlook.  Most importantly, I learned that what we eat matters.  Who Knew?

Every now and then my sugar addiction takes over and I lose control.  It starts innocently enough.  I can have just one cupcake, right?  And an occasional cup of gourmet coffee is fine.  Everyone does that, don't they?  Before I know it I'm sitting in bed next to Hubby with a spoon and a pint of ice cream (White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle to be exact).  My body begins to react with weight gain, fatigue, painful joints and just feeling plain awful.  That's exactly what happened this winter.

So last week my sister and I went on a little getaway.  We packed up the car with every kitchen appliance and utensil imaginable, and stocked up on fresh and healthy ingredients.   We spent three days chopping and cooking and sharing nourishing meals.  We used The Ultra Simple Diet to guide us :: it isn't really a diet at all.

We lit a candle at every meal and toasted to good health.  We read books and shared ideas and laughed a lot.  We chose to focus on the positive and overlook the negative (the cabin was less than desirable).  Our cravings for sugar and caffeine went away and we once again noticed how delicious real food can be.

We're back home now and feeling strong.  We're steaming vegetables and rice and drinking almond milk and herbal tea.  We're learning more about juicing and raw foods and nutritional supplements.  This healthy lifestyle is a continual journey :: one with lots of ups and downs.  I try not to beat myself up when habits begin to falter and I hope that one day I'll have it all conquered.  Until then, I'll continue to read and learn and incorporate new ideas because what we eat matters.  That I know for sure.

Today I'm smiling....
because I discovered that brown rice cereal with apples and cinnamon is a very comforting breakfast.