Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Naturally Healthy: Transitioning from processed to natural foods

I began my journey to a healthier lifestyle August 2011. As many probably already know, the "American diet"consists of many fatty processed foods, refined sugars, and everything is cheap and easily available. There's a fast food on every street in every corner and it's very difficult to not eat it. So transitioning from eating that type of food my entire life, to eating naturally grown organic and healthy foods has been a very difficult but successful journey. My excuse, like a lot of people was: "Eating organic and healthy is too expensive." But what I did not realize is that what I was doing to my body was more expensive than just eating healthy foods. At the age of 23 I already had to take acid reflex medication, vitamin supplements, pain killers for the killer migraines, and 6 out of 7 days a weeks I'd always chew 2 tums a day because of the pain I would get in my stomach. I was prepping myself for a very bad future. And even after all of that, I was reluctant to believe that eating healthy was the only way for me to get better. The day in August when I stepped on the scale and saw the number 145 pounds, I knew it was time to do something. I had "dieted" before in my life but always went back to my bad eating habits. So this time around I knew I wanted to make life long changes, this meant totally changing my eating habits. How did I do it? Keep reading, my long story continues.

In August 2011, I started incorporating 1 fruit into every meal, 3 fruits a day in total. I know that's not much, but it was a start. I did that for 3 weeks until eating 1 fruit in every meal came naturally to me. Then came the difficult part: vegetables. The only way I liked veggies was cooked and with a lot of butter, which is a heart attack ready to happen! So that was when my journey to eating raw vegetables began. Throughout October 2011 to December 2011, I fluctuated back and forth between eating raw carrots, green peppers, spinach, etc...yes you got it right, it took me 3 months to adapt to the taste and texture of these delicious vegetables. But even then, I would still eat frozen and processed foods. Then January 2012 rolls around, I'm not one for new years resolutions so I just continued my journey as I had before. And little by little I found myself drifting away from unhealthy and processed foods, but most importantly I hadn't gone back to eating only processed and artificially refined foods.

Today is April 4, 2012, and I am proud to say that I have not eaten a sugary fatty processed food in exactly 1 week and 2 days. After trying to adapt to eating these different foods, I knew on March 26, 2012 that I was ready to do this long term. Yes it took me 8 months to completely quit and not desire these processed foods, but I have learned so much and I am so proud of myself!

You're probably wondering why I didn't quit it from one day to another, this is simple, you can't run unless you can walk. It would have been unrealistic of me to believe that I could completely change my eating habits in a day. I was very uneducated when it came to food. I did not know what fruits or vegetable were high in fiber, what vitamins they contained, how each made me feel, or the benefits of eating all of them. When I say the word journey, I literally mean an 8 month journey to where I am now(:

Also, I went from drink 8-10 cups of coffee a day, to drinking less than 8 fl oz of coffee a day. Now when I pour my coffee in the morning, I usually drink about 75% of that 1 cup (: That on its own took me only 1 week. How? Well, by eating fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, etc, I just didn't need the caffeine. My energy comes naturally, I don't get sleepy throughout the day, and I sleep like a baby now :D If I feel I need a boost of caffeine, I will have Black Tea with caffeine to satisfy that.

Last Friday, March 30, I began my exercise journey. I know this one will take a while, but I also know that I can do it. Because having accomplished completely eliminating these addictive unhealthy foods from my life gives me the encouragement I need to do anything I want to do (: I went on a 20 minute light jog and that made me realize how badly in shape I am. Yes, I did incorporate exercises into my life when I began back in August 2011, but not as much or close to what I am doing now. Most of my toning workouts I get from YouTube, which is free and easily accessible, so if you go into my YouTube channel (ailyxxxfashion) I have favorites tons of the ones I do repeatedly (: My goal is to burn off all the fat I have in my bum, things, hips, arms, and tummy.

My next journey is going to be juicing. There are so many vegetables that I just cannot eat because its too much to eat in one day! So recently I've been looking at juicing recipes and success stories, and it's definitely something I want to incorporate into my diet as well as my families diet (: We already chose one but have not purchased it yet (;

Oh! I almost forgot to tell you about where I stand when it comes to all the stomach problems and migraines I was having in the the past week or so, I have not had a single stomach ache or migraine(: I have not had to purchase expensive medication, also I haven't had to purchase any supplements because I'm getting my vitamins and minerals naturally from the source. Words cannot express how amazing I feel and the energy I have! But now I must go and continue my journey(: Thank you for reading <3