I ate a Nathan’s hot dog from Sam’s Club tonight. Well ok, since the blog is supposed to be a place for me to honestly explore and evaluate my life, I admit to eating two Nathan’s hot dogs – with relish and mustard.
I know eating a hot dog isn’t a reason for a blog post to most people. But it’s way out of my normal eating pattern for me. So far out of the norm I’ve spent the past 20 minutes curled in the fetal position in pain and nausea.
fresh roasted vegetables
I call myself a vegetarian. Well a part-time vegetarian anyway. I have very loose rules regarding my eating; I still eat eggs, dairy and fish. Yes I know, in some circles that means I’m not a real vegetarian. But in my house we call it a fishetarian. Hey, it works for me.
Earlier this year I spent a week in Los Angeles where it was super easy to eat super healthy. Fresh, organic fruits and vegetables were everywhere. I was working hard and pushing my body physically harder, yet the healthy food choices sustained me and kept me going strong.
Yet, as soon as I returned to Memphis the fat, greasy, non-vegetable options tempted me. I let the drama going on in my life be the excuse to succumb and feed my emotions rather than face them. Within a week I was bloated, sluggish and moody.
Fortunately though, my vegetarianism is like my Catholicism. I have the foundation, I have a basic belief in it, and I return to it when I need it. If I decide to indulge in a juicy greasy cheeseburger, or if my clean eating diet wanders too far and gets a little too dirty, I can return again. Say a few Hail Mary’s and perhaps a 2-day soup cleanse to rid my body of sin and toxins.
Recently I was home in Philadelphia for a week – the land of greasy cheesesteaks, sugary Tastycakes and salty soft pretzels. Did I indulge my taste buds? Of course! But only in moderation and I balanced it out with lunch at a delightful little vegetarian restaurant we found and fresh fish from the local market.
But life has a way of continually throwing blockades up along my health and wellness journey. Drama at home or an unusual amount of daily stress all too easily derail my healthy eating and daily exercise habits. When I have too much to do the easiest thing to give up is taking care of myself.
A nightly love affair with both Mr Ben and Jerry is a temporary solution to life’s stress. When I'm too tired/lazy/forgetful to pack my lunch it's easy to swing through McDonalds. But at what cost? And I don't just mean financial.
I like eating good, healthy food. I feel good when I do. But I always think a sugar or fat binge will fix what's wrong. It never does. I never eat junk and afterward think "Oh I feel so wonderful I could go do a two hour power yoga class". I wouldn't make it through the first ten minutes before my body gave out. It wasn't fed properly first. Organic roasted vegetables, fresh blueberries or a ripe juicy orange can be just as soothing to my soul, yet nourish me in a way to help me deal with life’s drama’s and turmoils in a stronger, healthier way.
Let’s face it, I’d be kicked out of a vegan meeting. I really, really like my Aldofi leather coat. It’s not strictly a matter of cruelty to animals. Although the facts of factory farming and genetically modified food scare me. For me, it’s about how much healthier I feel when I eat closer to nature.
Better for the planet, better for my health and better for my wallet. It’s a much better motto than any fast food jingle. I just have to remember to sing it to myself!