Wait. Before we even dive into my eating habits and choices I need to take a second (or ten) to shed some much needed light on the “this is how I eat” blog post thing that is happening right now. First and foremost know that this post is all about my journey through the food jungle- like, literally feels like a jungle all the time, doesn’t it? But I digress. This post is meant to inspire you through a little storytelling to explore your nutrition choices but mainly it’s just an opportunity to share what plant based eating means to me. Drum roll please… why I choose a plant based lifestyle.
I’ll cut to the chase, plants are pretty magical. I mean, modern medicine spends a lot of time trying to mimic plant magic. Did you know that the synthetic version of Methyl Salicylate aka Wintergreen aka a member of the same plant family that mint is from is a primary ingredient in aspirin? Yup. MAGIC! Please excuse me while I go eat an entire plate of wintergreen leaves… I have aches and pains from teaching a lot of spin classes here in San Diego. Hold on, hold on, I know what you’re thinking and I refuse to ignore the fact that you didn’t just order a whole bushel (does mint even come in a bushel?) of wintergreen on amazon right now.
Here’s the thing, I spent a lot of my life suffering. I was tired and sick and overweight and miserable. Now some of this had to do with some very poor lifestyle choices, but most of it had to do with the fact that I basically lived off of hotdogs, cupcakes and American cheese… you think I’m kidding. Now, it wasn’t an immediate Oprah ah ha moment for me, case and point I didn’t wake up one day and say “screw you processed foods, we’re breaking up and I’m only eating plants” and quite frankly there are still times where a cupcake is literally the only thing that will get me through the day. I’m human after all, I promise.
Ok, so, to me plant based eating is basically the process of basing my meals around plants aka vegetables and fruit and things that don’t have eyes (I know potatoes have eyes, leave me alone). This might look like a huge salad al la arugula and tomatoes and avocado (remember, I’m human) and some dreamy extra virgin olive oil and pink himalayan sea salt with a can of tuna on top. Plant Based. Not just plants. See the difference? I get it, you might eat plant based and only eat plants- that’s cool with me, and fingers crossed you’re cool with my definition of plant based too. I’ll break it down for you, my internet friend, in real life I am a group fitness instructor, former fat kid and all around body-positivity-self-love-is-the-best-love advocate. I sweat a lot, and I was only plants plant based for two whole years and it was magical and mystical and eye opening and exciting and then one day I woke up and my body was like, “Yo dude, we need some animal protein,” and I listened.
Where does this leaf us? Pun, very much intended. I mean, I’m over here living my best life ever feeling healthy AF and quite plant magical. I fill my plate with plants first (as many as I want… really, truly) and all the other things second. I find that by focusing on adding those things to my plate it leaves less time subtracting the hotdogs, cupcakes and American cheese because there isn’t room on my plate for that stuff anymore. Sheds a tear for the simpler times of processed foods. Seriously though, I think back on the good ol’ days and remember eating turkey dogs cold on Saturday morning because I didn’t have the time to microwave them. Listen, this was pre DVR and I only had so much time to run to the fridge to re-up on snacks before cartoons were back from the commercial break. Wait, I’m laughing so hard right now remembering this moment. Who did I even think I was? Cold turkey dogs? I know this is the only thing you’re going to take away from this very informative article. Paul Fishman ate cold turkey dogs as a child. Please someone engrave my tombstone with that.
The way we eat is very personal. In fact, food culture is so personal that I can’t even bare the thought that you’re judging me or anyone else around their eating habits. Yes, I would love it if you took the time to consider putting all the plants on your plate, but only because I know how it changed my life. Yup, my life. Not yours, not your sister’s or brother’s or mother’s or second cousin’s- YOURS. Whether you eat plant based, only plants, no plants or something in between please remember that your food choices are yours and if anyone tells you otherwise just tell them about the kid that used to eat cold turkey dogs.
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