Real Food Basics: My Story
So why do I care about this?
Here’s my (abbreviated) story about how making the switch to real food has helped me, and why I care about it. Around this time last year, I wasn’t feeling great. I mean, I was fine, nothing major going on, whenever I went to the doctor I got the green light and was pretty much told that everything was A-OK. But I got headaches a lot, was super tired in the mornings and throughout my workday even with coffee, and I’d also had a recent bout of vertigo, which caused me to feel dizzy and nauseous for about 3 weeks and made me more concerned (read: paranoid and anxious and just generally occupied) with my health. So that’s where I was at then – pretty much okay, but with some minor complaints I wanted to figure out solutions to, and a newfound interest in my health.
Now, being a lady in American society, I’d also always paid attention to food and had my own (complicated) relationship with it for more… aesthetic reasons. I won’t get too far into the weeds with that, because I’d be here all day, but what’s important is that I’d rarely thought of food as something that could make a big impact on how I actually felt every day, especially being lucky and having no major health issues that would have caused me to need to pay more attention to my diet. At that point, food was just something that I had to deal with, or read dieting tips on, or struggle with to get the body I felt like I should have. It always felt like a fight between eating what I actually wanted and being healthy, and I never made the connection that eating healthier food could actually give me more energy to take on my life more efficiently. And could still taste good and make my coworkers jealous.
At that point, I stumbled upon someone online who was sharing the ways that eating real food can help you feel better and have more energy, stabilize your body’s functioning, and just overall improve your life. That all sounded pretty good to me, and I’ve always had an interest in food and cooking, so I decided to give it a try. So around last fall, I made a switch to eating pretty much all real food (using some of her products and recipes, all of which I’d highly recommend). I did it slowly, and definitely not all at once, but the more I started eating more real food, the more I noticed a difference in my energy levels, mood, and just how my body felt all the time. So by probably January of last year, I’d pretty much switched to eating mostly real food, most of the time, just because it made me feel so much better.
Once I’d made that switch, my headaches were mostly gone, I wasn’t getting stomachaches or feeling dizzy or lightheaded every day, and I lost a couple pounds that were basically just bloating or water weight. But more importantly, I felt way less stressed about food, because I felt like I’d found this easy golden rule that I could follow, that would help me feel and look good, and allow me to tune out all the fitness-magazine, diet-industry, cereal-aisle, guilt-ridden bullshit. And the golden rule was just to read the ingredients and make sure I recognized all of them. And if I didn’t, to mostly try to avoid eating those more processed foods, or just be aware of it when I did. And to plan my meals to make sure that most of the time, I was eating real food. It’s literally that simple. And it’s made a huge difference in how I feel every day, how I approach food, and how I live my life.
And that’s why I want to share my tips and tricks for making this switch doable for other people who like me, 1 year ago: people who are in this weird, post-college, mid-twenties time, and who mostly feel fine, but would probably love to find a way to maximize what they’re eating and worry less about it. Because food can be an amazing tool that allows you to feel amazing and have more energy – for work, and socializing, and just for life. But it does take a little bit of unlearning and paying attention and building some new habits to get there.