Crunchy Granola

25 Jun

I have a bit of a reputation. It may or may not be a good thing, I can’t always tell. I mean, I guess we all have a thing that makes us “that guy.” If you’ve read any of this blog, seen half the things I post on Facebook, or pretty much anything I’ve posted on Twitter you can probably guess what my M.O. is… I’m a health freak. I’m blatant, and kind of in your face about it. I bring vegan food to potlucks, I ride my bike to work, I work out five times a week, and I post about it, talk about it, and write about it.

A few weeks back a friend posted this article on my Facebook wall and asked if it was specifically about me. Twenty ways you know you are a wellness junkie. Surprisingly, I didn’t actually connect with most of them. That being said, number 23 on this beauty of a list is me to a tee: “Smug, annoyingly healthy people.” I am absolutely the gal who brings a salad for lunch, bikes to work, and says things like “so on my six mile run on Saturday I stopped by the park we had the corporate picnic at.” They even voted me the healthiest person in the office for our office superlatives last year.

I talk a big game about what I’m doing to be healthy, but I haven’t really addressed why I do it. Part of it is vanity; I’ll freely admit that. I know that taking care of myself means that I’ll look better. But more importantly I want to feel better, and I want to be well. Like pretty much everyone in America I have seen family members lose the battle with cancer, and lost loved ones to heart disease. While some things are absolutely out of our control, other’s can be fought with a preemptive strike.

After educating myself on the impact our food has on our wellbeing I decided to make changes to my diet. After being vegetarian for a few years, Alex and I took the plunge and went vegan at home (I admit that when I’m out, I will indulge in whatever I want. I find that allowing myself the occasional splurge makes the more “extreme” lifestyle sustainable). Studies have shown that a plant-based diet can prevent and reverse heart disease. Some studies have also shown that a plant-based diet can help prevent and fight cancer. Not only do Alex and I eat plant-based at home, we also eat primarily organic food. While reports are mixed as to whether or not pesticides are truly as awful for you as some folks say they are, eating chemicals doesn’t really seem like a good idea. Finally, when buying groceries I follow this general rule: “If I can’t pronounce it, I shouldn’t eat it.”

I’ve come along way from where I was in the early-2000s. In college I would stop at McDonald’s on my way to my part-time job in the morning to get breakfast. I didn’t like their hash brown, so I never got it, but since a breakfast “meal” had two things and I was skipping the hash brown, I figured that meant that I could have two sandwiches. So I’d order a McGriddle, and a Bacon, Egg, and Cheese bagel… and a diet Coke. The Papa John’s delivery dude in State College knew me by name. And, I weighed 40 pounds more than I do now. I needed to change. My joints needed me to change. My heart needed me to change. My cells needed me to change.

After over a decade of struggle with obesity, I’m finally feeling back in control of my health. If that means that I get labeled a “health nut” I’m okay with that, maybe my instance on health’s importance will persuade more people to join me on this quest.

Summer 2013

Summer 2013

Summer 2008

Summer 2008

 

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One Response to “Crunchy Granola”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Monday to Sunday | MainlyRunning - June 30, 2013

    […] Justin Timberlake says in Veganville), but that’s still no excuse to let things go. As I said in Crunchy Granola, I’m doing this to stay healthy, and lose […]

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