|This pineapple, mango, kale and coconut water smoothie was perfect!|
Me, on the other hand...I pretty much lived on vending machine Frosted Brown Sugar Pop-Tarts. True story. Not proud.
When we were dating, I continued to eat whatever I wanted, but once we got married, we took on Ironman's approach to food. I went along with it at the time because we didn't have much money, since we were still in college, and avoiding meat and dairy meant less money spent on groceries. So, although Ironman was doing it for the health, I was doing it to save money.
However, in 2010, we were spending the weekend with my friend Jennifer and ended up watching the documentary, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead and I caught the fire too. It was so inspiring that we came home, bought a juicer and juiced everyday after that for years! Other documentaries started popping up on Netflix like Forks Over Knives, Food Inc., Food Matters and many others. We even read several books like The China Study that were eye opening. I began to see what Ironman saw. Nutrition really does matter!
Although it took me about a decade, I now like to eat (mostly) the same foods as Ironman! We try to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. As much as possible, we try to avoid all meat, dairy and processed foods. In the past, I didn't like to eat this way because I craved everything else, but after years of pushing through and educating myself on the nutrition benefits, I can honestly say I love our diet. It wasn't an overnight thing, but hard work. When I'm feeling tempted, I try to remind myself that I'm "eating to live", and NOT "living to eat".
I'm not saying that I don't love pizza, hamburgers, candy and all kinds of junk food (I do), but I know that when I eat like that, I don't feel my best and it effects other areas of my life. When I take care of myself and eat well, I have a better attitude, sleep better, feel better in my clothes, my digestion works better and I have more energy.
A whole food, plant based diet isn't for everyone (although I think it would benefit everyone!). You really need to take time to research nutrition and decide what you think is best for you. Then, begin to implement that diet into your lifestyle and see how you feel! It may take time (or a decade) to find whats truly right for you and for you to really enjoy it!
Also, no matter what you choose, don't beat yourself up over "cheating" or not being perfect. You're human. Ironman and I travel a lot and it isn't easy to find whole food, plant-based items on the road or in airports. That's ok! We just make the best choice with what we have available to us. Also, we have a pretty active social life (at least I think so). Every week, we are getting together several times with family and friends who eat differently than us. In those situations, we also eat whatever is available to us. My relationships are more important to me than my nutrition! I would never want to offend someone or cause someone to not enjoy spending time with us because of something like food.
What foods help you feel your best! Let me know in the comments below!