If you were to start a food diary to compile everything you consume on a daily basis, what would stand out the most to you? Would your list reveal that you have a sweet tooth? Love fried foods? Enjoy hearty homemade cooking? Adore gourmet coffee? Or the local pizza shop knows you by name?
In my experience, I discovered that what I consume really does matter, especially if it's a consistent pattern. Four years ago, I came to the conclusion that something had to change or else I would never regain my health. I had to ask myself this: Was my wellness important enough for me to change my eating habits? Could I increase my overall quality of life (physically and emotionally) if I eliminated specific ingredients from my diet?
Had I not suffered fibromyalgia or lost my health, I don't know if I would have considered making such drastic dietary changes. Sickness can be a motivator for reinventing yourself and changing your diet! In retrospect, I'm thankful for my past illness because it forced me to take a closer look at nutrition and and how it could significantly improve my health. In order for me to go from being disabled and afflicted to becoming independent and restored, it required these steps:
- To look outside the box.
- Educate myself about the long-term implications involved in consuming harsh ingredients.
- Do thorough research on a large variety of topics, including clean nutrition, plant-based foods, gluten, GMO, processed foods, etc.
- Build my awareness on natural, gentle options.
- Become my own wellness advocate.
- Determine that my health is my top priority.
- Lean on God for wisdom and restoration.
- Take the first step of action to make necessary dietary changes.
- Read & understand labels of everything before it goes inside or outside my body.
If there's nothing else that I learned through my impaired condition it's this: I am responsible for my own health. No one knows my body like I do. How can I expect to stay well and be at my best if I delegate my health to someone else? I challenge you to consider how you can enhance your own body and mind with pure nutrition. Only you can determine the necessary action steps that may lead you to improved wellness. The choice is yours. It's up to each individual to decide for themselves how much their health is worth. I believe that we can't put a price tag on wellness. There's no amount of money that can replace vibrant health. (Sorry for the tech issue in this paragraph. Asking for grace here!)
For those who are interested in making positive changes in their diet, here are ingredients to consider eliminating. Try to have an open mind. If this is new to you, first check it out to gain more knowledge. Please do your own research. Learn as much as you can about how each one may impact your health for better or for worse.
- Soda, especially containing Aspartame
- Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
- Artificial sweeteners
- Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
- Artificial colors & flavors
- Hydrogenated vegetable oil
- High fructose corn syrup
- Sodium Nitrate
- Processed foods
Our nation is in a health crisis directly linked to poor nutrition and overeating. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 78.6 million of U.S. adults are obese. We put toxic fake foods into our bodies, but wonder why we are sick and depressed. We continue a vicious cycle of consuming the wrong ingredients along with having a stressful lifestyle, yet question why cancer is rampant. Most of our society live in fear and believe they have no control.
My positive message is that we do have control. We need to take back ownership of our bodies and minds. Do not blindly eat something without first checking the ingredients to see if there are potential side effects or long-term damage. Be conscious of what you're consuming before you go to the grocery store or dine out.
Most importantly, take the initiative to gain more knowledge because it will empower you. Understand your options so you may be in a better position to make an informed choice. Ultimately, your choices in nutrition can greatly impact your life to help you thrive as a whole person; body, mind, and spirit.