Written by Lea Frederichs @ Karmavore Nutrition.. look for and like it on FB
Hello friends! Last week I talked a little about how to eat for optimum health. This week I want to delve into the question of WHY. I know so many of you see my rants and think, “Enough with the nutrition posts already. Doesn’t this crazy bitch know that there’s more to life than greens and quinoa? I’m busy working and raising a family. Who gives a shit what she’s eating for lunch or how bad Splenda is for me? I’m blocking her dumb ass news feed once and for all.” And I honestly don’t blame you or take any offense. Because five years ago, I would have thought the same thing of me. In fact, I’ll tell you exactly what used to go through my mind when confronted with people like me… “SHUT UP you preachy, self righteous freak. OOOOH look at you with your green juice and your yoga mat pretending to be all evolved and zen and shit. Go hug a tree or a cow or something. YAWN. Nobody cares. We are all gonna die eventually and everything causes cancer anyway these days. I want to enjoy my life instead of torturing myself with nasty health food. Keep your stupid seaweed to your stupid self….. hmmm….I wonder where the closest Starbucks is and who will go to happy hour with me tonight…….”.
So….needless to say, I get it. I wasn’t always like this. But, I got sick. Real sick. And the treatments that my doctors had to offer were nothing but band-aids that covered up my symptoms. I heard over and over again that there was no cure for Colitis and Crohns. Modern medicine treats IBD with symptom management (drugs, surgery or bust). I got mad. I got sicker. I got sad. I got sicker. And then- I had an epiphany. It went something like this – “Holy Shit I didnt just GET colitis. It’s not a disease you CATCH. I created it. It’s all me. Uh-Oh. This means I actually have to care and try. Yuck. That sounds creepy.” But I managed to get started with all this caring and trying business. I took responsibility for my own health. My doctors said it couldn’t be done, and that was exactly the motivation I needed. And lo and behold…I started to heal. It was hard. I struggled. I still struggle sometimes. I’m far from perfect and I still have so much more I want to learn. But once you start to learn, you can’t unlearn. Once you make the connection and stop looking outside of yourself for quick fixes and places to lay blame- everything comes together.
Every single cell of our bodies is created with what we put into our mouths. We are quite literally made up of what we eat. If we rush around and eat garbage, then we are building our bodies with garbage. If our bodies are made up of garbage, then naturally we produce garbage. Our energy is shit. Our relationships, moods, work, self esteem, sleep- ALL SHIT. Our bodies are our frame of reference for being in the world. We need to use our bodies to think, feel, dream, accomplish, be inspired and experience joy and love. But when we are powered by food-like substances that were created in labs instead of in nature- we don’t even have a shot at fullfilling our purpose here. Without any life force in our fuel, just getting through the day is daunting. Screw inspiration and purpose. We just want to get the bills paid and the laundry done so we have time for 1/2 a bottle of wine before bed.
It all starts with what we eat. We are building our bodies and our lives with what we put into our mouths. The way we approach every experience is dependent on these bodies we have created. If we are on a sugar roller coaster every day and our moods are all over the place- what kind of wife, daughter, mother or employee will we be? If we are constantly obsessing over calories and how we look in a dress- will we be able to enjoy spending time with our friends at a party? When we are busy hating ourselves over last nights potato chip binge- will we be able to listen when a friend needs us? Will we turn down oppurtunities for interesting experiences when we are depleted and have no energy because we are fueling our lives with soft pretzels and sweedish fish? Can we expect ourselves to be patient, gracious and kind when we are crashing from too much caffeine and zero nutrition? What kind of people can we really expect to be when we are forever in a fog of nutrient deficiency?
We kid ourselves into thinking eating junk food is fun. (Cheezy puffs are so much FUN!) I don’t know about you, but none of this sounds like a fun life to me. People often ask me if I feel deprived. Hell no. I was deprived before I started taking care of myself. Deprived of energy, purpose, peace of mind, meaning, self worth, health and simply feeling awesome and damn proud of myself. Sickness is the definition of deprivation. Sure, I was never deprived of candy and whiskey back then. However, I was deprived of every single thing that matters. I barely remember my old self anymore. Which is a blessing because I was a cynical jerk, to be honest. My fabulous teacher and friend Christina Pirello said to me years ago, “You can do this, Lea. Change your food and you will change your life.” (say what?!) I was skeptical. But when the goddess of Cooking The Whole Foods Way speaks, you pay attention. Truer words were never spoken. It all starts in your kitchen. Try it. You’ll see. Christina Pirello knows her shit. And now, so do I. And that’s my why. Go on and find your why.