As a health and nutritional counselor, I am always interested in what people eat and how to help them change a few things around to feel, look, and be their best. I am an advocate of "REAL FOOD" and try to avoid and discourage anything artificial, processed, overly sweet and unhealthy. I am also a vegetarian, do not consume meat and exist on loads of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein alternatives like beans, tofu, tempeh (tofu and tempeh are minimally processed but I would rather have those than eat meat).
I recently posted a suggestion about a "conscious eating" experiment on my Facebook page. I was looking for a few people interested in trying a few different foods (both healthy and unhealthy) and asked them to pay attention to what they were eating and how they felt during, after, a few days later. I didn't push the experiment as much as I really wanted to because I was also in the middle of planning a camping trip for the weekend and dealing with a few personal inconveniences that consumed a great deal of time. I was thrilled to learn that one of my friends did give the "conscious eating" a try and this is what he wrote to me:
"Hey Hey......did that little experiment thing.. but not with donuts...for the past 3 weeks I stopped eating meat.. cut out my sugar.. and started really to eat well....but the other nite I went to an outside festival in the city and said this is a really good place to see if I eat crap how I would feel after wards...hot dogs soda and ice cream later..I went home ....well the next day I felt like crap it took me 2 days to recover ...LOL...so just wanted to tell you .... "
WOW Just one night of eating what we consider "normal festival fare" and he felt awful for two days after! I was so excited to hear his results but did feel bad that he felt so lousy as a result. I certainly don't wish that horrible sluggish feeling on anyone; but I knew he would!
I had a similar experience this past weekend. I went camping with a few girlfriends and we decided not to bbq or cook and packed a cooler full of whatever we could find that would be quick, easy and portable. I personally packed some cheese, some bagels, some Terra Chips (which are somewhat healthy) and some pistachio nuts. Our cooler and bags were packed full of other goodies like Doritos, potato chips, pretzels, processed american cheese, other coldcuts, white bread, some fruit, and beer. There was a little store nearby where we went to get breakfast each morning (eggs on a roll for me, bacon, egg and cheese on bagels or rolls for the carnivores in the group, and coffee).
For two days I existed on some cheese, white bread and rolls, beer, chips, a couple of fire-roasted marshmallows, a few strawberries and an orange. I never even opened the pistachio nuts which would have been a good and healthy source of protein in a pinch. By the end of the trip I was lethargic, depressed, completely exhausted and a roller coaster of emotions. I came home on Sunday afternoon, laid down on my couch and passed out for several hours. Two days later, I still feel awful. My stomach is upset, I have had several yelling, screaming disagreements with my boyfriend, there are dark circles under my eyes that no amount of concealer will hide, and I feel as if I have been heavily sedated. Now I must be honest, there were some outside influences and events that caused my emotions to run amuck over the weekend and for the past few days, but I am convinced that if I had been eating my regular healthy diet, things would have never been so blown out of proportion and I would not have reacted the way I did. Garbage in.......garbage out!
I have returned to my simplistic, healthy, "real food" diet. I have never been so excited to eat a dish of fresh spinach, brown rice, and cubed tofu in my life. I am sipping miso soup and munching on fresh fruit and vegetables in an effort to bring my body back into submission again.
The moral of the story: we are what we eat. Most of us don't even pay attention to what we eat. We exist on garbage every day; pre-packed, processed, artifical fast food and wonder why we always feel so tired, so aggravated, so unhealthy. If you feel like this more often than not, why not take a look at what you are eating or not eating and see if there are ways you can improve your diet. Add some greens, some lean protein, cook at home a few nights in row. See if you feel a difference. I guarantee.......you will!!
If you would like to learn more about consciouse eating or need advice about real food, or just need to chat with someone about it, give me a call, send an email, or contact me on Facebook!!
And this is my Daily Cyn............