GROWING UP: I grew up on the Standard American Diet (SAD), meaning that most of the foods I ate were packaged processed foods vs. fresh whole foods that come from nature. It also means, that I was on every diet from the time I was a teenager until about 30 years of age. When I wasn't on a diet, I was a compulsive eater shoving down my mouth whole containers of ice cream, loaves of cinnamon bread, donuts, candy, potato chips, etc. You name it, I couldn't eat just one...I was always hungry for more! I was addicted to sugar...the sugar that is in most of our processed foods. And guess what folks, this is why there is an obesity epidemic, chronic illnesses and why diets don't work!!
I didn't know yet that diets didn't work, that it was the chemicals in the food that was causing my addictions for more, and causing my roller-coaster of a life to continue. I would try diet pills, laxatives and speed to lose weight. I was in a losing battle and I felt like a failure! I was fat, ugly with pimples, insecure and had no self-worth. To make matters worse, I had no one to talk to about all of these bad thoughts and feelings in my mind and body...so I ate, I smoked and I drank. I was addicted to food and I was an emotional eater! I hated my life, I had no confidence and I hid all these bad feelings behind my addictions. To top that off, I had a lot of anger inside me. I needed help!
With 9 siblings, there wasn't a lot of money, so our food choices were limited. However, I do credit my mom for trying to make sure that we always ate a balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein and produce, but most of our fruits and vegetables were frozen or out of a can and our grains came from starchy processed foods. However, my mom didn't know better, she was just following the USDA's Standard American Diet (SAD), on a tight budget and doing her best. But basically folks, the USDA's guidelines are more geared to marketing for the food industry and not necessarily for your health. Processed foods are meant to keep you coming back for more and to keep you failing at your diets. Basically, to keep you fat & sick!
THE SPARK THAT CHANGED ME: Call it an Inner Voice or God, but I felt a call to listen to it, and in my mid 20’s I started to change my life around. I stopped drinking alcohol for a while (I do have my occasional wine now and then) and I went into therapy to help me with my inner demons. As I started to take care of myself in this area, I became more interested in my health and began implementing a whole based diet into my life of good quality proteins, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables. I changed my diet from one of processed foods to whole foods and suddenly my need for more just disappeared. And finally, I quit smoking. This was all a slow process that happened over the years, but the point is that now over 20 years later, I can eat as much as I want because of the quality of the foods I eat and I feel pretty damned good in my 50’s.
In the last few years, stress took over and I started to slip backwards, so my body began screaming back at me. You see, once you get healthy, the body can be an amazing tool! When we listen to it, it will help us to make really great decisions. It’s hard to turn back, once we become aware. Now years later, I realized that this way of eating has prevented me from having to be on any medications, not even an antibiotic! And I believe it's because food has been my medicine!!
MY AWAKENING: Now all the while, as I am doing my best at eating well and being healthy, I sadly had to watch many of my loved ones die and suffer from what I believe is a poorly established medical system when it comes to health. It started with my brother who died at age 35 from leukemia and my father from arteriosclerosis. Then this past June of 2013, I watched my sister die of COPD and in December of 2013 my mother passed away. The hard part about this for me is that they were just following doctor’s orders. I would try to talk to them about eating a healthier diet, but the truth is, as long as the medical profession does not see how food plays a critical role in either health or sickness, neither would they. I felt helpless as I watched them being fed nutritional poison along with one medication after another and would wonder how can such an intelligent establishment not know any better about nutrition? I could not understand why patients weren’t given instructions on how to be healthy when they left the hospital. Why wasn’t nutrition being prescribed as part of their healing? I felt helpless and I wanted to change this!
MY NEW VENTURE: In January of 2014, I signed up for a year-long training to be a Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I decided that I no longer wanted to feel helpless in my knowledge and in my ability to be able to teach and educate others on the value of food and how it affects one’s life. Although I am not a nutritionist, this training is giving me the tools to guide others to a healthier way of eating, along with a more radiant and abundant life. Because I have been able to get to the other side of my own past battles with life and my struggles with food, along with the addictions, emotional eating and lack of self-worth that came with it, I now know and have the tools to guide others out of this too. And it will be my pleasure for those who really want this. I truly know and believe that we don’t have to suffer in life, when we are living it right according to God’s plan or according to nature, whichever one you want to believe…I just hope you will believe!!
Yours In Health,