Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Testimony of Healthy Living

One of my new favorite quotes is:

"It's no longer about the skinny, it's about the healthy."

For a lot of years I dreamed about being thin and at a healthy weight, but didn't quite have the drive to get myself there.  Until I heard that doctor say that I had fibromyalgia.  All I could think about was these two kids.

And the fact that fibromyalgia can be something that completely slows down your life.  The thought of not being able to be 100% for these kids and possibly missing major events in their life?  No, that wasn't going to do.  And THAT was the beginning of my testimony of healthy living.  

I say 'testimony' because you have to come to your own conclusions regarding health.  You have to learn deep down just how vital it is to your well being.  You will never make a change until you are ready and determined to do so.  

Many people scoff at the idea of a vegan diet and completely shut down as soon as you say the word.  But my guess is that 90% of those people really have no clue what it even entails.  It's so much more then the 'hippie' stigma that I always considered it to be.  I was one of those people that would change the subject as soon as I'd hear the word.  Give up meat?  Cheese?  Yogurt??  ICE CREAM???  Are you kidding me??    

If you are anything like I was, you are absolutely clueless when it comes to healthy eating.  I had no idea where to begin or how to go about it.  So, the big question is: why switch to a whole food, plant based (vegan) diet?  

This is a LIFESTYLE change, not a diet plan.  

Many of us were raised on (I TOTALLY was) and consume the standard American diet (S.A.D.), rich in animal fats (meat, dairy), high in unhealthy fat (saturated and hydrogenated), low in fiber, high in processed foods (so called "fast" and "easy), low in complex carbohydrates, and low in plant based foods (fruits and veggies.)  And these are all factors that increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, intestinal disorders, just about any chronic illness, and certainly fibromyalgia!  

The ideal diet consists mostly of fresh, whole plant foods, grains, legumes, fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds.  This way of eating provides a pathway to better health.  It's one step at a time.  When you are thinking about making the switch, do your research!  I'll lay some things out here on this blog, but you've got to look into and research these things yourself.  Knowledge is power and the more you know, the healthier decisions you'll make.  What we eat affects so many aspects of our lives and those around us.  So much more then we realize.

So start by doing some reading and make small changes.  Change one thing each week when you go to the grocery store.  And after a month or two you'll be amazed at how far you've come.

Tomorrow I'll share with you resources (movies, books, websites) that I have found very helpful and the first steps that I took to making this change.