You Are What You Eat

This is true in a very real sense. Our diets determine a lot about our lives. We can eat junk food, too many fat and sugar calories, and grow fat and soft ourselves. We can fill up on fatty cuts of meat and end up with clogged arteries and diabetes. Or we can eat healthy, fulfilling whole foods and bring our bodies to a state of health and well-being.

I have personally struggled with diet all my life. For most of my life I ate what my family put on the table. Good home-cooked meals are a blessing, but when those meals are full of lousy nutrients, it takes a toll on our bodies. Meat, dairy and eggs are not the only sources of protein. Whole grains, beans, lentils, peas and soy are all sources of good plant-based protein. A varied diet has other benefits as well. Plants have fiber, which helps our digestive systems move things along. Fruit is full of vitamins and simple carbs for quick energy. Vegetables have many nutrients science has yet to discover. We do our bodies good by eating good foods.

In our modern world people rely too much on fast food and restaurants. My nurse yesterday told me there is a hepatitis outbreak recently linked to restaurant food. I have already been vaccinated, and I rarely eat at restaurants. This hepatitis outbreak kinda grosses me out, because hep is spread through contamination with fecal matter. I really don’t want to think about cooks not washing their hands after going to the toilet, and then preparing my food. This is just another reason to cook for yourself.

This morning I had some oatmeal and blueberries, some ground flax seeds, and some walnuts, all for the beneficial omega-3 oils they contain. There is no need to take fish oil, which is usually contaminated with mercury and other toxins from our polluted oceans. As long as we get enough good foods, any shortages in essential oils can be made up by our own bodies from healthy food. For lunch I am having navy beans and broccoli. After lunch I am going to get to work on the lawn. I feel good this morning, and it is a bright, sunny summer day.

If we want to have healthy, good-looking bodies, the best place to start is with our diets. A vitamin pill is good insurance to take as well, in case we don’t get enough micronutrients from our food. B-12 is in short supply in vegan food, but is easily available as a supplement. I take a full compliment of vitamins and have fairly decent health. I almost never get sick, and I am working on becoming more active every day. Good food and good activity are what we need as human beings. Sitting all day in front of a TV or computer will eventually take its toll on our health. Get up, get active, and cook your own food. That is the recipe for success.

A Healthy Diet

I have been trying to do some research on a healthy diet. This did not involve just reading about foods or watching videos, but also some self-experimentation. I learned some things that are interesting.

When I eat too much protein I get constipated, to the point I need laxatives. The human body just does not need or is able to process tons of protein. You need some, which we can easily get from basic foods, but too much clogs up the system.

I found that I seem to lose weight only on plant-based foods. I am at about 220 pounds body weight now, and need to drop another 50 pounds of fat. The weight does not come off when I eat meat, eggs, and dairy. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables now, get my protein from beans and lentils, and make sure to have some fiber running through my guts to flush out the crap.

Now, the web. There are so many conflicts about diet on the web it beggars description. People get really bent out of shape about what they eat and about what other people eat. You have the vegans on one side, saying only eat plants, and you have the carnivores on the other saying only eat meat. The only people in the middle are the ones eating twinkies. And they argue with each other, a lot. My own opinion is that I am not going to change how other people eat, I can only change how I eat myself.

A healthy diet is one that provides you all the macro and micro nutrients you need to support a healthy body weight. It is also a diet that will not promote chronic disease like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, or cancer. My own opinion is that plant-based foods are right for me because I feel good, my blood pressure has come down to normal, I don’t have weird cravings for things like alcohol, and I am losing some of my excess weight. It is also kinder to animals, as there is none of their suffering in my food.

One thing about vegan foods is that you can eat a good deal of food and still not consume too many calories. Seriously, salad has like 50 calories in a big bowl, unless you load it up with 200 calories of ranch dressing. I even bought some low calorie oil free dressing for my salad, and it is fairly good. Broccoli has very few calories as well, a little protein, and lots of good phytochemicals that can keep estrogen in check if you are a man, as I am. Carrots are full of natural vitamin A, all fruits have good amounts of vitamins, and fresh foods are full of vital energy to keep you wide awake and aware after a meal, not passed out in a tryptophan coma after gobbling down that Thanksgiving gobbler.

What you eat is your own business, but if you are like me and seriously overweight you might consider going vegan in your diet for your health and to lose some excess weight. We live in a world of cheap food that is often unhealthy. If you eat at restaurants or fast food joints, you might consider making a trip to the grocery store and loading up on whole, healthy foods and learning how to cook. Cooking is a basic life and survival skill we all should have. It is also cheaper and cleaner than paying some stranger to prepare and serve your food, and will be a good start on getting your diet under control and getting some healthy nutrition into your body so you can beat whatever problems you have and get back into good shape and live a long, healthy life.