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Balancing The Health Scale

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Over the past six months or so (maybe even longer) my resolve to fight tooth and nail to maintain a whole, unprocessed, mostly meat free diet has really teetered on a line I hoped to never cross. Between wanting to indulge in every experience possible here, which includes family cooking and rich dinners out, and the general money saving convenience of being surrounded by people who would love nothing more than to cook for you, I have lost MY way of eating somewhere. I will still say that Husband and I have done a decent job of at least trying to balance the indulging with a few days of clean eating but in general we are both feeling pretty bloated, “fluffy” and generally not as energetic and light as we are used to.

When we lived in Charlotte and had the rare opportunity to spend a full week at home (including the weekend) our meals were totally meat free except for fish and generally consisted of a heavy helping of greens in some form (broccoli, spinach salad, asparagus), whole grains (quinoa, couscous, whole wheat/grain pasta) and rice, and plant based proteins (beans, tofu, tempeh, seitan, nuts). My goal was to never feel “heavy” after a meal and to achieve moments of what I can only describe as feeling “empty” so that I would know that I was actually using everything I had put in my body and could clearly determine when I was actually hungry. We did a great job of supplying our fridge and pantry with nutritious foods, that included sweets as well just none loaded with refined sugar. And essentially we ate to fuel our bodies as opposed to eating what was in front of us. I’m still a very strong believer in eating for a purpose, which doesn’t have to mean never eating anything that brings you pleasure. Food has always been a passion of mine and I fully stand by the thought that there is a healthy way to find pleasure in it.

Cancer has been prevalent in Husband’s side of the family and after researching and hearing how a whole, plant based food diet could help prevent cancer and cancer growth I made it my mission to not only stock pile fresh fruits and vegetables into my body, but to also squeeze every morsel I could into Husband’s meals. He has by default accepted the diet and lifestyle I’ve chosen but has never fully made the decision himself to pursue it, and has always been free to eat whatever he chooses. So I was pleasantly surprised when he chose Forks Over Knives as our nightly entertainment a few nights ago.

I never wanted to force my opinions and lifestyle decisions upon him. What we eat and how we live is a very personal decision that can only be decided by the individual living it. Not to mention, unless you yourself come to a decision all by yourself it is unlikely that you will ever stick to it. I have waited patiently hoping Husband would eventually recognize the damage certain foods can do so as a team we could work towards a more plant centered way of living.

What I believe will be the first step of this, as cliche as it may be, is watching these documentaries. In the past few years there have been amazing movies created showing everything from the commercial, environmental and most importantly physical damage that meat and processed refined foods does. To me it’s undeniably simple, and I find it frustrating to know that we all have the power to not only improve our health without medications and expensive surgeries, but that we also have the power to improve our lives and we just choose to ignore it. To really live. It’s like we are in a food fog and we live to eat instead of eating to live. We’ve forgotten the joys of being outside, or traveling, or anything that doesn’t involve food in some way. Is life really equivalent to food? I’m sure some people would say yes, and I can’t help but feel disheartened by that.

If you are still reading by this point I will quit the preaching now. However, I do plan to include a few posts in the future about more healthful and EASY practices to put into your everyday diet and lifestyle. You don’t have to become a vegan overnight, nor do I think that’s a smart or reasonable way to go about a major change, but small changes eventually build up to big results. I know I have used this term more than once on this blog but life AND EATING is all about balance. The first step is realizing the imbalance, which is what I am doing now. Maybe together we won’t have to wait till New Year’s to start on our new journey to health.

In the meantime if you are looking for resources to learn more about the truth behind our current food industry, the benefits of a plant centered diet, and taking control of your health and eating below are a few that are great starting points. Knowledge is power!

Movies:
Food, Inc.
Forks Over Knives
Food Matters

Books:
The China Study
Any Michael Pollen book
Women Food & God

And just for fun some awesome cookbooks that make it easy to cook and appreciate a plant centered diet.

Clean Food
Clean Start
Tender

For any new readers, posts explaining my health and diet history and my food philosophy can be found here, here, and here.

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