Six months ago my aunt had a stroke and to be honest it scared the heck out of me … the unpredictability of the stroke itself & her recovery was a stark reminder that life is fragile and everything can change in literally one minute. It was the first time I had experienced something like this so close to home and I saw the immediate affects it had on so many people I love. I immediately started to think about my own health and decided I needed to take control of the issues (albeit small) that i've always been faced with; stomach/GI issues, acid reflux, ulcers, headaches and a morphed perspective of my body and eating habits. I decided that I needed to make a change, educate myself and treat my body better.
For months I had been seriously considering eliminating meat from my diet for numerous reasons but could never commit to it or to questions I would inevitably receive from my family ... but one week after my aunt’s stroke I had my last piece of meat. For me, it was the first step to taking charge of my health and making decisions that worked for me and that I felt good about. But that was a small step ... within a few weeks of eliminating meat I was hungry all of the time and feeling incredibly deprived. I wasn't treating my body any better so I bought The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone and couldn’t put it down. This book seriously changed my life and I highly recommend it for anyone who is even the slightest bit curious about what they are really eating and how it could be affecting your body. While the book focuses on the many benefits of eating a veggie based and vegan diet it had a much deeper affect on me; it didn’t only make me want to change what I put into my body, it educated me on my choices and the importance of good, wholesome food. It also reminded me of the importance of living a more conscious and balanced life, which is something I felt far from. In the book, Alicia breaks down three veggie lifestyles: the flirt (this is me - tinkering on vegetarian and trying vegan alternatives), vegans (no animal products. Period) and the ‘Superhero’ (based on the principles of macrobiotics). The point of all three is to eat clean, eliminate preservatives as much as possible and to make educated decisions that work for you.
Personally, I think the whole ‘Superhero’ thing is a little out of my league (& perhaps to many my choices seem slightly ridiculous), so for now, I am a flirt making small and educated choices that work for me and my body. I've eliminated red meat and poultry (I’m still eating fish 1-2x/week), I don’t drink cows milk and I’m starting to realize that my stomach only hurts when I have certain types of cheese or dairy so I’m on the look out for a good soy alternative.
What I love the most about The Kind Diet is that it's really not a diet (contrary to the title); it’s a new way of life that can very well positively influence my health for years to come. So, I figure, what do I have to lose? I mean, I haven't had an acid-reflux episode since I cut out meat which is a huge feat and I have a huge appreciation for everything I cook. I have so much to learn but I’m excited about this journey, trying new clean foods and documenting my progress here.
Want to learn more about the Kind Diet? Visit The Kind Life on-line.