Part I: The Food
I’m a foodie. I love food. Always have.
Here are some of the things I used to love to eat:
Macaroni & Cheese (Kraft style)
Cake (cheesecake, anything chocolate)
Cereal (Golden Grahams, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Honey Nut Cheerios)
My mom says I’ve always had a healthy appetite. Sounds like something mom’s say about their sons. Either way, it’s true. I’m always hungry and as long as I’m not stressed out I generally have a good appetite. Part of that is my personal biochemistry. I have a high metabolism. I’m a “protein type” when it comes to eating for my metabolism. I have a Type A blood type which is a somewhat picky blood type to have. Type A blood is supposed to work well with a plant-based diet.
All my life I’ve been a “sometimes” vegetarian. It was always half ass and in the past it usually just meant I stopped eating meat but still ate crap. By crap I mean alfredo pasta from the Olive Garden, frozen dinners, canned soups and other stuff that is high in sodium and other GMO crap. My point is, just cutting out the meat still wasn’t that healthy for me.
The following italicized text is an exert from something I wrote in my journal on April 30, 2012:
Lately my intuitive guidance has been telling me it’s time for a change. A change in diet. I’ve had diarrhea for about 3 weeks now, on and off. Every bowel I have has been loose. I’ve had Gastritis 3 times in the past and I think it’s from stress.
I recently realized cheese is dairy. I know that sounds ridiculous but it’s true. I discovered my intolerance to lactose over 2 years ago. I started drinking Lactaid milk but even that hurt my tummy. Probably because it’s still dairy. I just never put two and two together until now. I used to think I could eat a little bit of cheese or dairy but I’m thinking that’s what has been my problem all along. So, I have decided to try and be mindful of not eating ANY dairy. No milk, no cheese, heck…I don’t even want anything cold and from the fridge anymore because it feels dairy-ish. My purpose in this is my physical health.
Speaking of physical health, my family doesn’t eat healthy. My dad worked at the fire department and I remember most of those nights my mom, sister and I would go to Taco Bell or Burger King to get dinner. As I got older I found myself not liking fast food as much but graduating to larger chain restaurants like Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn, and Chili’s. Of course that’s horrible for the budget and I always ended up having stomach pains and usually have diarrhea the next day after eating one of those meals. Food has been a struggle. My mother, sister, grandmother and myself are all overweight. I’m not sure why I’m not as heavy as they are but luckily, I’m not. The only differences I can site are they’ve all had children and live a mostly sedentary lifestyle. (Here’s an older photo of my sister and I (and my crazy colored hair)
I used to have almost a primal urge to fill my days with eating meat. I’m not saying I still don’t-it’s not as strong-but I still feel like I’m not full until I’ve had it. Not sure what that’s about but the past 3 weeks have taught me I don’t have to have that strong crash from not eating nor do I have to have the intense urges or hunger pains. I just realized that maybe the urges I have for that “meat” or what I view as necessary “protein” is actually a craving for something else in the meat. Or perhaps the craving is completely emotional. I’m not sure but I’m going to attempt to discover it.
And from my journal on May 1st:
Today I watched the documentary “Forks Not Knives”. Food, Inc. is the film that initially opened up my eyes to the food industry. Made me really think about things I was putting into my body. I stopped eating Little Debbie snacks and cakes and stuff about 2 years ago. Man, I used to be able to eat those things ALL the time. As I became more mindful my cravings for certain things decreased all together. When my dad died in April of 2011 my diet changed completely. I just ate whatever was around. I started smoking again. I feel gross when I smoke. Light-headed and nauseous…so, I’m going to stop. I’m also going to see if I can get my diet and health on track by not eating meat. I’ve recently read about the Blood-Type Diet and I like the idea of eating whole foods, veggies and fruits instead of white, processed foods with fake sugar.
So, on May 1st of 2012 I stopped smoking and started eating a plant based diet. I’m going to write a few more posts related to this subject because I want to document some of the changes that have happened to me due to this lifestyle choice. It’s been fascinating. I’d like to be able to start a conversation about this stuff as food relates to mood and mood relates to well, everything. I’d like to hear your stories and experiences relating to diet.