Food. Food is supposed to be nutritious and help us maintain life and growth. But is the way we’re eating helping us or hurting us? This is a question I asked myself a few years ago. Living in the United States, we have access to such an abundant variety of food, yet everyone seems to choose quick, easy and over-processed products to satisfy their cravings. I see tons of people walking around with “diet” soda or some sort of energy drink on a daily basis. Have they never read an article about the effects of aspartame? Or do they just ignore those facts?

Growing up in the restaurant industry, I’ve always been around food, but more importantly I’ve been around employees in the service industry, who, living the busy, high-paced lifestyles they do are often not the healthiest individuals. A lot of “us” are stressed, overworked and don’t sleep enough. That means a diet that consists of too much caffeine, fat, and sugar and certainly not enough water.

One day, I decided to read more about health and what I can do to improve mine. Countless books and a few cleanses later, I found Veganism. Although I’m a cheating vegan who eats meat, seafood and even cheese on occasion, for the most part I stay away from animal products. Something else that affected me profoundly is that my father, who always struggled with cholesterol, decided to try a plant-based diet to improve his own health. Three weeks into his diet, his results were staggering. To the doctor’s surprise, his cholesterol went down significantly, over 100 points, without any drugs. Having someone as close to me as my father, living proof that this lifestyle can really potentially save a life; I was convinced it was the way for me.

It is truly amazing what food can do. It can cause adverse health effects, but it can also heal. The choice is the individual’s. I guess that’s the beauty of it. That each of us makes a choice, everyday and several times, what we are going to give our body. Will we nourish it with food that will assist our cells or will we dump unnecessary calories into our system?

The bottom line here is that consciousness is everything. There is such a great lack of awareness when it comes to food. Many reach for over the counter drugs to help with a headache, or perhaps their heartburn, not even thinking twice about what may be causing it. If each of us simply stopped and dealt with the issues we were facing and tried to ask why, I think the world would be a better place.

Of course what worked for me might not work for someone else, but at least I try to make myself and therefore my life better. I learned a long time ago that we can only change ourselves and hope to inspire others along the way, thru leading by example. There’s no changing other people before you do not change yourself.

Hopefully more people will realize that there is a direct correlation between what we eat and how we feel. Food should be making us happy and energized, not sad and sluggish. Of course there are also other factors that affect our general well-being, but in my opinion, the biggest one and the easiest to change is what we consume. A simple decision, yet so difficult, what to eat?

Of course there are many other factors to a balanced diet, like diversity, the question of genetically modified foods, organic or not, farm-raised, and the list goes on, but the most important and valuable thing to remember is to at least be conscious of what we are eating and where it came from. Awareness is always the first step.


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