A few days ago I had a moment of clarity. A few things happened that forced my eyes wide open. It really was a gradual building up to this point. Akin to waking up with a few rays of sunshine peaking through the curtains gradually making your room brighter then suddenly your curtains get ripped open and bam! you’re blinded by the light. That’s how it felt to me.
I’m talking about food and what it’s worth to me. I know I’ve written a few posts about being paleo before but this is from a slightly different angle. Let me explain something very important first. I was raised in an Italian family where food was love and brought people together. Parties were planned around the menu, simple visits meant eating too, even if you’d just had a meal. Food was more than sustenance, it was everything. That love for food grew on me, how could it not?!
As I’ve gotten older I have seen loved ones age, pass away and I’ve watched some deteriorate years too early. People I love dearly gone from my life too soon. Others still here but their quality of life leaves them unable to do much. I sit back and ponder all of this. I realize something so vitally important. Food can have the power to make or break a thriving life. A THRIVING LIFE. Not just a life but a life truly worth living.
My heart shatters when I see people I love unable to be active in any way. Diseases taking over lives that could’ve been prevented by a dietary change. Food is poisoning bodies of ones I love and making them very sick. Cancers, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, dementia, arthritis, the list goes on. All of these in some way can be linked back to a daily diet and lifestyle choices.
It makes me angry honestly. Angry at the food industry, angry at the people who eat the garbage food, angry at doctors for not helping these people. I am angry at the medical schools for not teaching conventional medicine doctors more about the power of food. Dr. Mark Hyman said it best “What you find at the end of your fork is more powerful than anything you’ll find at the end of a pill bottle.”
I recently got back from a 4 day vacation. This trip was the first of my life that I came home feeling pretty good. I wasn’t fatigued, bloated, no brain fog, no acne, no migraines, and no weight gain. It made me realize the importance of sticking as closely as possible to my daily paleo diet. I packed a lot of food and made the healthiest choices I could when eating out. I watched those around me go to town on all the standard American diet food. Fried foods, gluten everything, soda, enough alcohol to leave you feeling it the next day. You name it, it was there. Oddly enough the only thing that tempted me was ice cream. Probably because it was 95° outside? I didn’t cave, in part thanks to my husband who wouldn’t give in to my begging. I said I’d deal with a migraine the next day. He just simply said “no”. For this I am grateful. It wouldn’t have been worth it. I’m human after all.
When we got home I watched some visitors, older than I am but far too young regardless, stumble and nearly fall. Walking with an aged gait of someone much older than their actual chronological age. THAT was my blinding sunlight moment. The moment I realized as much as I love food, it isn’t worth a shortened life. Even more so, it isn’t worth a life that leaves me unable to thrive!!
Food is meant to be the fuel for life. It isn’t meant to be emotions, to fill a void in your life, or to make parties more fun. Food is meant to fill your body with necessary nutrients so that lives are filled with love, laughter, long walks, and throwing a baseball with your grandchildren. Its meant to be the basis for allowing us to do the things we love!
I know how it is, the sense that food is love. So here’s the thing…it is!! Food can show love by making a nutrient dense meal for loved ones to prove you want them around for years to come. It shows “I love you enough to feed you something that will nourish you and sustain you!” Love is NOT giving your child Eggo waffles. I’m sorry if I offend anyone, but that isn’t love. If you loved your child, you’d make them a breakfast that wouldn’t set them up for a future filled with chemotherapy, insulin shots, piles of supplements, pain pills, immunosuppressants, and antibiotics. The research is all there to prove this is the case with diet. I want the meals I serve to say “I love you so much I won’t feed you garbage.” Including the meals I serve myself because I love myself enough to do that. I want to live but even more so I want to thrive. I want my quality of life to be powerful. I look forward to being active with my family now and in the many years to come.
I’ll leave you with this…
Are you thriving or simply living? Because my friends, food has the power to be the difference between the two and the line between those is massive.