There was once a time in my life where I could honestly say that I had not eaten fast food of any kind for about 3 years. No chicken nuggets, no french fries, no cheeseburgers that came from a restaurant with a drive-thru.
I was a serious "health nut" as they say.
Organic - check.
No processed foods - check.
Triple Osmosis filtered water - check.
I even had a filter in my shower to remove whatever yuckiness could go into my body through the city water. I used the stone crystal for deodorant, herbal wrap detoxes, all natural colon cleanses, I was completely dairy free for awhile, I can skim the labels of food to find yucky additives in seconds flat - the list goes on, y'all.
I hadn't tasted a Big hamburger, that begins with an M and ends with a C, in about 5 years. Maybe more.
Then I got pregnant with my first child.
The cravings I had were unbelievable. I used it as a license to eat whatever I wanted.
Here I was in a 12 week natural childbirth class with a nutrition plan that was perfectly laid out to feed me and my baby into optimal health. Yes, I had my first child without one single drug - I told you, I was a nut. Anyway, I was not only eating everything on that plan which was A LOT of good whole foods, but I was suddenly eating every piece of junk food I could get my hands on.
Hubby loves to tell the story of when I was about 7 months pregnant and he walked into the office where we worked together - the office where we distribute a line of products designed to help people eat healthier - to find me eating a Big hamburger, that begins with an M and ends with a C, large fry and large coke.
He asked me,"Is that what I think it is?"And so began a new love affair with fast food. I feel it only fair to tell you that I gained...get ready for it...80 pounds during my first pregnancy. 80. Pounds. It took me over a year to lose that weight.
"Yes, it is."
"Can I have a bite?"
"Don't even think about it."
Losing it, of course, included not eating any more fast food. I also ended up with Ulcerative Colitis. I don't know what to attribute this to other than my eating habits taking a nose dive during the pregnancy.
Now fast forward to having two kids and being a busy mom. Let's face it, getting fast food is often just easier. The kids are hungry and time is short. Over the last few years, I have fed myself and my kids fast food more than I would like to think.
So here I am the last couple years, cooking pretty healthy at home but often running through a drive-thru with my kids. I even allowed some processed foods to come into my home because they BEG me at the store. I feel like I've been sending them a mixed message.
So, the time has come for a change...again. For one, it's really not within my new budget to spend money on food that is anything but nutritionally sound. Secondly, my health and my family's health is just that important.
Am I completely finished feeding my kids fast food? Well, no. I'd like to be but they still ask for it and sometimes it just is the easier option. I would say that rarely is more like it. And we try to make better choices about what kind of fast food we eat. It is not all created equal.
What I learned from this is that eating healthy is a habit. It starts with one good choice and leads to another good choice. And another and so on until eating healthy is just part of who you are.
The same goes for eating unhealthy. It starts with one bad choice (I was pregnant for crying out loud - who can blame a pregnant woman?!?) and leads to another bad choice. And another and so on until eating unhealthy is just part of who you are.
The crazy thing is that eating unhealthy is a lot easier of a habit to get into than eating healthy. The sugar in processed foods is like a drug to our body. I once had a holistic nutritionist tell me that she felt sugar was a worse addiction than heroin. Since I have never been a heroin user, I just can't fairly say. But if she is right then it would go to prove why it is so hard to get off of processed and fast foods. We become addicted to them. And like any addiction, it damages our body. Luckily, we have amazing cells that can rebuild themselves quickly just by eating healthy again. Whew!
So, yeah - I'm on the wagon again. Going back to some of my better habits and trying to eat healthier. Picking up some tips from websites and bloggers and reading up on some current health issues. Back to the basics, ya know? Since I've been down this road before, I really feel like I can recognize a fad or a trend in health. And letmetellyou - there are many.
I have one final word of advice about nutrition that I've gathered in my rollercoaster ride of healthy/not so healthy eating. Moderation is absolutely the key. Changing your eating habits overnight will most likely set you up for failure. But eventually, what you think you could never live without will not even taste good to you anymore. So, take it slowly and savor the new choices you are making.
Okay, that is all. Now where is that chocolate...dark in it's purest form, of course. ;)