Sunday, I took Jon to a Raw Foods Valentine’s Day dinner. Anyone who knows him knows that most vegetables are not his friend. He likes to start a lot of his days with an icy-cold mountain dew and thinks that meat, potatoes, cheese and bread are the staples to a healthy diet. BUT, he’s also very easy-going and will play along with just about anything so it turned out to be a great ‘date’. He surprisingly cleaned every plate of every course, (I am guilty of making sure he went hungry though because that always ups the chances of enjoying food/drink type things::), he drank the greenest, leafiest lemonade ever, had unexpected combinations like onions and apples, and consumed more vegetables in that one sitting than he’s probably had in his entire life, and WASN’T needing to go grab a burger the minute we left. It says a LOT for how you go about preparing things, for sure. Now I’m not a raw foodist, or a vegetarian or vegan or any ‘label’…I simply love all of the foods that go along with those lifestyles. I always encourage people to get past the labels and still add some of the different cookbooks for those lifestyles to the mix. It’s just naturally great food and these resources expand the possibilities for ALL of us, with ALL of nature’s finest. They’re certainly not exclusive to just those who do embrace those lifestyles. I pick up those types of cookbooks all the time simply because of my love for fresh produce, and these are the resources that naturally have some of the best concoctions out there using fresh, healthy ingredients. It may sound bizarre, but they’re also the ingredients that make me ‘feel’ good to work with, to look at and to eat. I’ve never gotten the same ‘feelings’ cracking open a bag of chips, or throwing together dinner from a box, the drive-thru or the freezer. These types of recipes also give you the opportunity to get introduced to a few new ingredients that you otherwise wouldn’t look for when grocery shopping. You will be pleasantly surprised that little by little your diet keeps getting naturally better and better and it will be customized by you, for you, at your own pace and choosing.
We can’t ever take our health for granted. For me personally I think it’s one of our most valuable ‘possessions’, if you will.. Like most things, there are so many factors that come into play with vibrant health, but one that we do have control over is what we put into our bodies. I can’t ever understand how good nutrition got to be so complicated and so out of whack for so many of us, and in a lot of ways….undervalued and underappreciated. There is so much ‘empty’ food out there and it’s being gobbled up by the masses. Healthy choices especially with kids are sadly ‘perceived’ to be the least fun, the least popular, the least tasty and it boggles my mind. I try not to make a big issue out of things with my daughter, but I do find myself confronted with ongoing battles over things like ‘lunchables’ with her and have to come up with a colorful spin on how we can create our own ‘healthier’ versions….(which she totally DOESN’T find as fun or exciting) or the most recent one which was over some sort of flavored water that she wanted to buy that I mistakenly thought had splenda or that in it….My biggest ‘cringers’ are lifeless, overprocessed foods and diet, synthetic sugar products. I just don’t think our bodies are naturally equipped to ‘deal’ with them and I want to make sure that my daughter stays as healthy as is humanly possible…WITHOUT harping on the issue, or making her feel like she’s ‘missing out’ (ironically enough). It just kind of scares me to think that some of the food options out there could possibly be ‘making us sick’. I’m a firm believer in nutritional medicine and have nothing more to back that conviction up than independent researching, reading and mindful ‘feelings’, beliefs and instincts. I’ve always been fascinated with the role nature plays in our bodies and our health since a very young age and am always ‘home schooling’ all things that are naturally health oriented. That certainly doesn’t mean I don’t make less than healthy choices now and then and am FAR from perfect with it all, but I am very conscientious of the choices I make. I actually started out college wanting to be a doctor…only at that time of my life, I didn’t commit wholeheartedly to the effort and allowed myself to get consumed in anything and everything else that in the end took me down a different path. No regrets, just part of the journey……. but to this day, I still have a passion for healthy living and the natural means to heal, strengthen, grow and live vibrantly. I also respect “to each their own”, but do love to stir positive conversations on the subject. For me, there’s an even greater gravitation towards all things ’alternative’, or natural, holistic solutions if you will…for no other reason than that’s what I BELIEVE works for ME. I have a deeply rooted faith and belief in nature’s ability to heal itself given the proper environment. That doesn’t make it right, wrong or otherwise…..it’s just what makes sense to me. What makes sense to you?
Cheers to looking to nature for solutions and good nutrition!