My story is a little bit different in that I am 24 years old, have always been able to eat whatever I want and still keep a slim physique and have never suffered from any chronic disease. So, I don’t have a gripping testimonial of healing or weight loss to inspire others, which automatically turns off a lot of ears, I know. What I do have is my own reasoning for drastically changing what I put into my body every day and the resolutions of issues that I didn’t even know were there.
To start from the beginning, I grew up as a normal American kid eating whatever my parents kept in the house and whatever my mom came up with to put on the dinner table. Meatloaf, chicken casserole, mac n’ cheese, pizza, chocolate and ice cream have always been a few of my favorite comfort foods, but I stayed slim through high school in spite of what I ate. When I went off to college and got “out on my own” I became a little more health conscious by trying to exercise more often, buying organic, and eating foods that I thought were healthy. (They weren’t!)
When I graduated college I moved to West Virginia for two years, and while there ate red meat three times a week, and chicken every other day. My meals always revolved around meat and I wasn’t shy about cooking and baking with large amounts of cheese, cream, butter, eggs and sugar. But, I never drank soda and I took daily swigs of apple cider vinegar, so obviously, I was making great strides (no. not at all.)…
Then, I decided to move back down south and miraculously through a cousin of mine (shout out to Deana!) met and started working with the Eating You Alive team. To say the experience has been “life-changing” is too mild of a description. Through discussions, the support of the greatest team ever and my own research, I decided to make a drastic dietary change for myself (somewhat privately at first, because I was afraid I’d fail), but I’d go home and immediately spout off everything I’d learned to anyone who’d listen (hi mom!).
Cancer and heart disease run in my family and I realized I/we weren’t doing a single thing to prevent those things from happening. Also, since high school I’ve battled anxiety, which is not something I ever cared to discuss in the least until fairly recently when I found out one of my brothers happens to struggle with it sometimes too, so I started discussing it more openly with family members. What I learned is that a ton of people are in the same boat and anxiety rates are on the rise. The point to all of that is when I eliminated all foods that are not beneficial to my body and replaced the things I gave up with foods that are exponentially good for my body, I have already experienced insanely positive effects in a short amount of time. The foods we eat do, in fact, affect our brain! Go figure!
I feel better mentally and physically than ever before. So much so, that I am confident now that I won’t fail. I do have to say though, that for years I have prayed for my anxiety to go away, but never really made any changes to my lifestyle to reap those benefits. I truly believe that God answered my prayers by giving me these tools and opportunities to make a change, resulting in the minimization of anxiety and poor health, so that I can better serve Him. I know I couldn’t have done this by myself.
Since starting this journey I have grown so passionate about nutrition and helping others to experience similar positive change. Some might even call me obsessed, but now a few of my loved ones have completely altered their diet and way of thinking about food and I cannot wait to see more of them experience just how good their body is actually designed to feel. I am so fortunate that my eyes were opened to the power of food earlier on in my life, so that I can literally start the prevention process right now and consequently feel amazing while doing it.
Call it radical, call it extreme, call it anything you want. The time spent arguing or figuring out a word for it, is time sadly wasted that could be spent fighting disease. Unless, of course, cancer, heart disease, hypertension, chronic pain, lifetime medication, etc. are things you’re cool with. To each their own! I’m just not cool with it.