About two months ago, I did something I never thought I would do. Honestly, until the moment I did it, if you had told me I would do it, I probably would have laughed in your face. I’d had enough with the slow, insidious post-childbearing weight gain, hastened these past few months due to stress in the wake of life changes. I’d spent the fall in a haze of grief following the sudden loss of a parent, not remembering what day it was half the time, getting lost while driving on familiar roads, and surfacing to eat unhealthy “comfort” foods in vast quantity. A doctor’s appointment in early December confirmed my suspicions… I’d put on weight. A cholesterol test did not give me any further reasons to celebrate. Really? I had always been the skinny girl who could eat as much as she wanted. Seems that the skinny girl had babies and turned 40 and someone forgot to tell her that her metabolism was changing.
Well, none of that did much to improve the old mood-er-ooni. A fortunate and timely exchange with an old and dear friend introduced me to Eat to Live and the concept of deriving the vast majority of your caloric intake from nutrient dense foods (aka, plants). It was the life line that I needed at the exact right moment. I am tempted to say it was a “lucky” conversation but something tells me there is more involved when old friends pop into our lives just when we need them than just luck… but that is a topic for another post. She inspired me through her success to get up from the computer, dash to the grocery store for almond milk and kale (KALE! WHO BUYS KALE?!!! screamed my subconscious, a little ticked-off that bacon wrapped filet mignon with a side of garlic-smashed potatoes would no longer be on the menu). Green smoothie number one, loaded up with fresh fruit, went from blender to gullet and I was quickly sold.
That was two months ago. I’ve lost a significant chunk of weight–all that I put on this year plus a little more–have rarely felt hungry, and have changed my attitudes towards nutrition. I’ve also had fun experimenting with plant based recipes. Who needs eggs when you’ve got flaxseed? And why didn’t someone tell me years ago that there was such a thing as almond milk, that I like almond milk, and that it is full of calcium? And mmmm, almond-coconut milk. So much better than cow’s milk that I never liked, even as a child.
So while the raven says nevermore, I won’t go quite that far, cause if I’ve learned anything it’s that we don’t know what the future has in store for us. But for now… no more animal products. I’m pinning away all kinds of vegan recipes and angling for ways to get my kids to try more of them. We are not a meat free household but I am hopeful we can get the kids eating more veggies. In the meantime, if we get rid of all the meat and cheese, I’m afraid the kiddos would be left eating nothing but peanut butter sandwiches (on whole grain bread, of course). But we’re getting there, baby steps are still steps in the right direction.
And the best part? By shifting my food choices these past few months from “what can I cook that everyone will like, that is reasonably easy and quick to cook, and that won’t cost to much” to “what healthy food can I eat that will taste good and take care of my body,” I am now constantly reaffirming my choices and sending a positive message that my person and my health are worth taking care of. And that feels good. And it’s about time.