On our recent vacation in Poland we were treated to amazing food. Polish food is yummy and I cook a lot of it at home, too, but differently. We ate lots of fried, buttered, sugared, sauced, salted, etc. After the first two weeks we didn’t feel very good. Even the kids noticed their bellies didn’t feel good. I was surprised that a common response to our saying “No, thank you, I’m full, I don’t want any more” was met with “Oh, so you don’t like it? If you did, you’d eat more.”
No, that’s not what I said at all. But the culture in Poland is that food is an extension of the family serving it to you and it doesn’t really matter if you will explode after eating one more bite. The cook tends to take it personally that you aren’t eating more because you’re full. (Not every cook we dined with was like this but many were.)
I love indulging and I LOVE food, but I found this push to eat everything very difficult to understand. I have learned to cook in a way that still showcases the same ingredients but with more of their healthy aspects kept in tact. Whenever we did have the opportunity to cook for ourselves on our vacation we loaded up on vegetables and fruit and minimized the fried meat and salt.
I was quite shocked to find that many elderly people and even young people didn’t look healthy. Many complained about this ailment or that ache and yet saw little or no connection between what they were eating and the state of their bodies. Obviously food is not the cause of all illness but I believe it has a great deal of impact on how the body can heal from an illness. Or not heal.
My 85 year old grandma is sharp as a tack and walks 3 km a day because she changed her eating habits and took responsibility for her health when she moved to Canada 20 years ago. If she’s any proof, food is that important! Many of her younger siblings, unfortunately, look and feel sick in part because of what they eat.
I decided that I when I got home I would take complete responsibility for my health. I had wanted to invite better health and more energy into my life but couldn’t really fully motivate myself to do it. Exercise was the first thing I would cut out when I got busy and I could rarely say no to dessert. Witnessing first hand how health can deteriorate with the wrong food and attitude was what helped me connect with a deep desire and drive to be healthy.
All four of us decided to do a Whole30 month when we got home. Since we had no food when we got home from our trip we shopped only for approved foods and started right away. I was so grateful!
Today is day 4 and my sugar cravings are crazy. I really, really want some cheesecake but my desire to be healthy and strong when I’m old outweigh the temporary gratification from sugar. I am no longer willing to sacrifice my future for something that I know is bad for me now.
I’m so proud of myself, my husband and my kids for sticking with this 30 day cleanse even though we are all experiencing discomfort. It feels great to be so aligned in this and so connected to why we are doing it.
I feel like this is a profoundly important step in my life, most likely in ways that I can’t yet fully understand. It feels very empowering.