Friday, September 5, 2014

....and yes, I DO eat kale!

When I lived in Vancouver, healthy living was pretty much the norm. People were very involved in fitness, eating a healthy diet and living their own personal evolution - whether that be in the form of education, emotional or spiritual - people liked the idea of becoming a better person and I happily adopted this attitude somewhere along the way.

Not to suggest that I never participated in any negative behaviors or habits because I certainly ate my share of junk food, didn't always exercise and had many 'less' evolved moments while living there however, I always felt motivated to get back on track.

When I moved back to the Maritimes (eastern Canada) in 2013, I quickly was reintroduced into the world of high fat foods, sweets and a sedentary lifestyle that is much more acceptable here than in the west. I started to immediately gain weight and almost as quickly, realized that it was time to get my act together before I turned into a fat blob with no confidence in my appearance, with some medical problems to boot. No fucking thanks. Not interested.

The truth is that it is easy to fall into these patterns for a number of reasons. First of all, it is easier grabbing the fast food and processed crap when you are hungry, rather than taking the time to prepare a healthy meal. Then, of course, human nature makes you naturally want to go for the high fat foods because our bodies are preconditioned to eat fat - of course, they are preconditioned from back in the caveman days when there wasn't a McDonalds on every corner and people didn't always know when they would catch and kill their next meal. And really, how difficult is it to say no, when the box of chocolates or plate of french fries is sitting in front of you?

In the last few months, I have greatly changed my diet. For the most part, I have green juice daily. I don't drink pop, juice and generally avoid sugary drinks. I don't eat hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages
and generally, avoid all processed meats. It is rare I will eat sandwich meats and if I get a slice of pizza with salami, pepperoni and most deli meats on it, I will pick them off or not eat it at all. I avoid processed foods, especially with ridiculous ingredients that are hard to pronounce and contain double digit amounts of letters. And I avoid sugar; this one, I have more difficulty with but generally am getting less and less tempted by cookies, cakes and bakery items. Chocolate is a bit more of a challenge.

Not to suggest, my diet is perfect. It is far from it. However, I find that when I eat better, I feel better. I wake up feeling energetic and am not exhausted halfway through the day. I don't get depressed or irritable as often and I don't feel the fog I used to get when I ate fast food regularly.

The only problem is that I don't always feel the support for this decision. Some of the comments I've had people say to me include;

 -  'You're going to eat that' (while looking at a bunch of Kale in my hand)
 -  'Don't you get sick of drinking shakes every day?'
 -  'Don't you get hungry?' (this is when I drink a shake full of green veggies, fruit, yogurt, almond milk for lunch - it is a salad in a glass, people!)
 -  'You're skinny enough'
 -  'You don't drink pop? Why not?'
 -  'What do you mean, a hot dog, isn't real food?'
 -  'It doesn't matter that this cereal is full of sugar - it is 'low calories', so it is healthy, right?'

No!! No, it's not healthy! These food companies are clearly not going to tell you that they are actually serving you a bowl full of sugar, some chemical shit-show that is disguised behind unpronounceable words and a lot of crap that your body simply does not know how to process so instead, it will store it in all kinds of fun places like your fat cells. I mean, have you ever noticed you were hungry shortly after eating processed foods? That's probably because you didn't actually eat anything. In fact, it would be the same as eating the newspaper and then wondering why you feel sick, are bloated, can't poop and yet, are still kind of hungry. (By the way, I don't recommend you eat your newspaper:-)

But hey, you can eat whatever you want, don't let me stop you. Just please - please don't say things like, 'Well, you only live once and you may as well enjoy yourself'. Sure, if sitting on the couch bloated, not being able to fit in your clothes and feeling depressed and apathetic sounds enjoyable, then go for it! But in the meantime, please don't criticize others for not following your lead.

I had a friend in Vancouver who was vegan. He didn't eat meat and abstained from the use of animal products. At work, he would often quietly bow out of food related social functions. He said it was just easier than trying to explain to everyone that asked (and people did...) why he wouldn't eat specific things and also, so he wouldn't have to inquire about the ingredients in various dishes. He also despised going to barbeques and having people make jabs at him for not eating meat. I, personally, had a lot of respect for his decision and wish I had the same amount of willpower, but ham and bacon are two things I just can't seem to avoid.

How people choose to eat is their decision. All I know is that I feel much better, both physically and mentally, when I avoid certain foods and stick to my daily intake of green juice. I did the research (check out Kris Carr if you want some awesome advice!)  and I've watched the documentaries (Hungry for Change - best ever and it is on Netflix). It is not just about losing weight it is about how you want to feel about your life.

And if you see me with some kale in the grocery store, please don't ask me if I am going to eat that then roll your eyes when I say yes. I mean, unless you want me going through your cart and doing the same thing;-)

Canadian author Mima is known for her complicated and diverse characters, a dark style and for never shying away from controversial topics. To request an interview or if you are interested in doing a book review, please send requests here  

Mima is the author of Fire and the prequel, A Spark before the Fire, as well as The Rock Star of Vampires  Her Name is Mariah and Different Shades of the Same Color. Join Mima on Facebook, TwitterG+ and Goodreads also, check out her Amazon Author Page

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1 comment:

  1. Yes! People should stay out of each others faces about lifestyle choices, whether diet, religion, or anything else. It is always interesting to learn about other cultures and beliefs (as in discussing), but preaching/criticizing/ridiculing are discourteous. It is not surprising that someone would stay away from social events if the whole time was spent having to defend their choices. Oh-- and way to go for taking such good care of yourself despite the environment you find yourself in! Reading your post has motivated me to visit my local farm market this afternoon:) and thanks for the links you shared.