When I think about my health journey and how my passion for taking care of my body through food has grown, I am filled with gratefulness that my journey has brought me here. Growing up I was raised in your typical healthy family; I was always taught to eat the crust on my bread and the skin on my apples. My mom always tried to limit how much sugar we ate. She bought Cherrios instead of Lucky Charms, and I loved a good glass of milk. Without knowing any better, we really thought we were living a healthy lifestyle. That’s because we were listening to the buzz around us on what was considered healthy and so we followed suit. If I could give anyone one piece of advice on living a healthy life, I would say to do your research. We live in a world where companies profit off of our purchasing habits, and the cheaper they can produce their products, the more money they will make each time we buy. As a result, the foods we consume and the products we use on our skin are loaded with preservatives and chemicals to reduce this cost, and rid us from the truth. We have been taught that germs are bad, too much fat from eggs and avocado can raise your cholesterol, and carbs and calories are the enemy. Is that the truth or is that just what we are supposed to think?
My true healthy journey began when I realized what I was doing wasn’t working, and I needed to make a change. For the past six years I have been trying to reeducate myself on how to cook clean, reduce chemicals from my environment, and fuel my body the way it deserves to be fueled. Like any girl, I have had an up and down relationship with my body and how I thought I should eat and how I should look. I have gone from feeling too fat, to feeling too thin, to realizing my body is a temple and I need to thank it for all that it has done for me. It is so easy for women to compare themselves and compare their bodies to others all while trying to manipulate it to look “perfect”. It has taken me awhile, but what I have come to realize is that perfect is an unrealistic expectation. We were all created uniquely and that is what makes us beautiful. We need to celebrate our beauty, nourish our stomachs, and love each other for who we are. So eat the entire avocado, know that dark chocolate is good for your heart, and every day look at yourself in the mirror and thank God for your beautiful hips, your calloused feet, and your giving heart. Make sure that the ingredients in your food are ones you can pronounce, and know that humans don’t actually need to consume milk from cows. Don’t count calories, instead make sure whatever you are putting in your mouth doesn’t come from a box. No one is perfect and we are all still learning. But isn’t it beautiful to think about how far we have come? Love your body, love yourself, love your gut.