Wellness

This year, my kitchen has gone from being an avoided acquaintance to valued friend. It hasn’t always been this way, though. I would tell people I only cooked the basics, because honestly, ain’t nobody got the time to cook. You’d barely see me messing in it.

I also didn’t travel much, so I figured I’d spend my money in restaurants. But that’s another story for another blog post.

At this point, I can’t say I have the skills my mom or my sisters have in the kitchen. They’re creative with their dishes, and I’m really just a newbie. But I don’t mind at all. You gotta start somewhere, right?! I like to say that we’re just cooking different kinds of food.

Discovering healthy, whole, and living foods have been good for me and it’s been the spark I needed to spend more time in that space. It’s been great for my acne-scarred skin, my energy levels, my joints and its periodical pains…, and just my body as a whole.

When my husband suspected he was experiencing signs of diabetes, this one doctor recommended he read Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter, M.D., which he never did and so we forgot all about it. A few years later, he mentioned it again and, call it a gut feeling, I had to get my hands on that book.

The rest is history. I learned about bad foods, yes, mostly gluten, sugar, and some of the processes our digestive and neurological systems perform, even to the cellular level! Also how some foods are wreacking havoc in our brains and guts.

Kind of negative motivation of sorts, I know, but like I always say, ignorance is a bliss until you know. I try not to think about the foods I’ve left behind, but the ones I never really gave much thought. It’s a whole new world, friends!

Watching one of my sisters constantly fight the scale, I said I’d never be on a diet. Then I got married. So for the past eight years or so, I have been on and off diets: high protein, low carbs; then moderate protein, moderate carbs; then keto; throw in intermittent fasting, and you got yourself a miserable, frustrated woman. Always striving. Never arriving.

I found myself fighting the scale just like her. I’d lose a round, win another. I’d get punched hard, and punch right back. Will this ever end?

I devoured the book in a weekend and found mentions of other doctors, so I checked them out, too. I went on to read The Allergy Solution: Unlock the Surprising, Hidden Truth about Why You Are Sick and How to Get Well by Dr. Leo Galland, M.D. and then The Fat Resistance Diet by the same author.

I was stunned. After closing the last book at the beginning of April, I felt like I had been taught enough to not just ditch diets altogether, but change my belief about foods as a whole.

Now, I’m not here to tell one or the other what to eat. You like bread? Then eat it. Enjoy it. I like it too, I’ve just changed my mind about it. My body likes when I don’t consume it, so I won’t. It might not be this simple for people, but something inside of me grasped it and accepted it. Kinda like when someone decides to quit smoking cold turkey.

What dawned on me from going through this experience is that I know for a fact I wouldn’t have taken this knowledge to heart 9 or 12 months ago. There was something already at work within me that opened my mind to welcome it and embrace it. There is a time for everything under the sun, the writer of Ecclesiastes says. It’s true. That’s why I’m sharing it, not pushing it, although I strongly believe in educating oneself in and applying at least basic nutrition guidelines and exercise in order to thrive physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Today I do eat what I want. But what I want might not look like what my sisters or husband or co-workers want. I am fine with my newfound desires (dark chocolate is still on the list; without soy this time around). They do satisfy me. Wellness is at the center now, not a number or size.

And so, even though I’m no expert chef, I’m finding great contentment in preparing and putting the right elements in through my mouth. The adjustment period has been smooth and I couldn’t be more excited. Slicing vegetables is therapeutic and recipes are fun to look at.

I’ve also finally hung my fighting gloves.

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