In this post, we’re chatting about something people either love or hate talking about…food! I’ll be honest for the longest time; I was one of those people who didn’t enjoy it. I didn’t enjoy eating. Food was a hassle and eating was done out of mere necessity. I’ve recently fallen in love with food for probably the first time ever. If you’ve already lost interest- that’s totally cool, this isn’t the post for you so check back in next week.
For those of you still with me, I think I need to take you back a little for you to really understand my previous hatred of food. As a chubby kid with thyroid disease (uncommon in children), I would hide my food so people didn’t realize I wasn’t eating. At lunchtime, I’d have a quick snack and then stash the rest away. I remember not being able to eat the things other kids did as they’d make me so sick, like hotdogs. Add this to my hatred for the taste of meat, and I was a hassle at meal times. I didn’t like being an inconvenience, especially to my friend’s parents so I’d either suffer through it or opt to not eat. Once the adults clued into what was happening, meal times were monitored especially at school which made me feel like a weirdo.
Fast forward into my early twenties…
My eating habits hadn’t changed that much. It was a time when my thyroid levels were all over the place and looking back now it’s easy to see that I wasn’t happy in life, in my relationship but most of all with myself. With all of these negative feelings, it was my self-image that took the hit and food became even less of a priority to me. I lived with a meat lover, and as someone that much preferred fruits and veggies it continued to make meal planning a nightmare for me, but this time no one was there to notice when I didn’t eat that much or when I did eat and felt awful. I would actually have anxiety when thinking about what meal to make next as we ate so differently. This may sound extreme to some of you, but that was honestly my everyday thinking when it came to food.
In my second year of college, I developed an allergy to dairy. Drinking milk, or consuming items that were made with milk or heavy cream actually gave me food poisoning symptoms. I won’t get into details, but just trust me that this wasn’t your typical lactose intolerance. In fact, I did the lactose test and I passed it but yet anytime I consumed things that had milk or cream the reaction got worse and worse to the point that it wasn’t an option for me anymore. Strangely enough, I could consume certain cheese with only minor discomfort and so I did. I was so frustrated by the fact that I was struggling with food, to begin with and now something that I enjoyed eating made me sick. I felt like I just couldn’t win. Doctors couldn’t understand what was happening and when I experienced a few major personal life changes, they summed it up to stress. (disregarding the fact that it started way before these changes happened)
I decided to make 2017 my year of nourishment.
Instead of choosing just one new years resolution, I choose a word that I would use to make decisions through the year and that word was “Nourish”. Simply put, if the decision didn’t nourish my mind, body, relationship, employment, business or bank account, I wasn’t doing it. This has honestly been the best decision I’ve ever made for many reasons but I’m going to just focus on the nutritional element for now. I took the time to understand my body, and actually listen to it for a change. Most of all I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself that I couldn’t eat certain things and enjoy all the other amazing foods I can eat. Most drastically, I stopped eating things I didn’t enjoy. Plain and simple.
After a lot of research, discussion with close friends and self-discovery I realized that my main issues other than dairy were with meat. I didn’t like the taste of it, I didn’t like cooking it, I didn’t like paying for it and I certainly did not like thinking about what it was before it appeared in the store. With that said, I decided it was time to cut the meat out of my diet and I noticed a huge difference in myself. I’m not going to tell you it was a miraculous overnight solution that levelled out my moods and made me lose 10 pounds. No. I’m also not going to tell you that it was 100% easy.
My decision was easy, and being at home was easy but adapting to life with everyone else and continuing to attend events outside of the house was tricky. At first, I was almost embarrassed to tell people that I wasn’t eating meat anymore, and some of the people closest to me probably don’t even know to this day. Needless to say, I’m not a very good advocate yet but give me some time. I have to say the thing that surprised me the most was that people were absolutely fine with me avoiding animal products when it’s for an allergy but the second it’s about compassion or personal preference I’m crazy.
Bottom line is this, I’m in NO way pushing a specific way of eating.
I’m not telling you that you NEED to be vegan… I don’t like being told what to do and I don’t like telling others what to do either. What I’m suggesting is find the way that works for you, and screw everything else. Find the foods that give you energy, and make you feel full for a longer time. Do research about different varieties of food and take note of how your body reacts to them. Take the time to really understand what your body is asking of you! Once you do, you will begin to notice changes you never thought possible.
For the first time, I genuinely enjoy eating and giving my body the fuel it needs. I realize now that my mood, mental clarity, energy and overall satisfaction depends on me fuelling my body with the nutrition it’s asking for. This has done wonders for my business and being able to keep up with my demanding schedule. My hope is that everyone can find what works for them, and not just continue in a way that doesn’t them because it’s convenient, or easy or the way its always been done.
This month we’re continuing the conversation about health and wellness. I want to know your thoughts when it comes to nutrition. Do you believe one size fits all strategy works? Let’s continue the conversation on social media #AmandaMarieBiz