Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Past goals and how they have shaped my life - Food, Nutrition and Diet

In light of the nature of this new project, I thought it would be good to reflect on some goals I have managed to achieve in the past that have now become a major part of my life. It is amazing to think that not so long ago these things were merely something I was hoping to achieve. They feel so natural and normal now.
As I am sitting down to my breakfast, the first goal I would like to reflect on relates to food. My breakfast every day is usually the same and is affected by the choices and goals I made in the past regarding what I choose to eat. I try to gain as much nutrients from my food as possible which is why I consume the following breakfast on a daily basis:
1.       Black tea with soy milk – as coffee causes my digestive system quite severe complaints, I have had to substitute my morning caffeine fix for black tea instead. Soy milk is due to my lactose intolerance. The combined effects of dairy and coffee basically made me puff up like blowfish and run to the toilet with severe stomach pains and diarrhoea. Quite unpleasant indeed.
2.       One apple, and one mandarin – for some reason I just can’t get enough of these two fruits. The funny part is, I grew up with a mandarin tree, and at the time I didn’t find them nearly as appealing as I do now. I’m not exactly sure what I will do when mandarins are out of season, perhaps a change will be a good thing.
3.       Buckwheat crisp breads with soy cream cheese – on top of being lactose intolerant, I am also gluten intolerant. My family has a history of celiac disease and I didn’t realise the problems that gluten were causing my digestive system until I had actually stopped eating it. My great-uncle actually died of bowel cancer, which was majorly caused by him continuing to consume gluten even though he knew he had celiac disease.
4.       Soy yogurt with amaranth and LSA (Linseed, ground sunflower seed, and almond meal) – on top of being lactose intolerant and gluten intolerant, I am also vegan. Soy, amaranth and LSA are all high in protein, as well as other vitamins and minerals. The reason for my choice to be vegan is greatly due to my sensitive digestive system (eggs cause me quite ridiculous amounts of gas – the bedroom of my previous share house literally smelled like rotten eggs!), but my desire to be vegetarian is due to simply not liking the taste of meat, and also due to the fact that I could never even consider the fact of where meat actually came from and still keep my food down. I am simply much happier being a vegetarian.
In relation to this detailed example of a portion of my diet – the part that is invariably the same on a consistent daily basis – and the reasons behind why I eat these foods, I would like to bring the matter back to the subject of goals.
Although my current diet is very much a part of my daily life, and something that is becoming more and more natural and normal to me as each day passes, it wasn’t all that long ago that I was actually consuming a very poor diet, and my goal of eating healthy was merely a yet to be achieved goal. In fact for a long time it wasn’t even a goal, but merely something I hoped to achieve.
As each day passed I grew more and more unhealthy, and subsequently more and more unhappy with life. It is amazing that a simple thing such as the food you eat and in particular the amount of nutrients your body receives, so seriously affect whether or not you are able to live life to your full potential. Even taking a multi-vitamin tablet on a daily basis will have a massive effect on how well your body and brain functions. Even with all the nutrient rich foods I consume each day, I still choose to take a multi-vitamin, as I can never be completely sure that my body is getting all the nutrients it needs on a daily basis. Along with a multi-vitamin I also generally take either a Hair-Skin-and-Nails tablet or an Echinacea tablet or an iron supplement – depending on what I have on hand and how I am feeling at the time. I find Echinacea good during the winter months as it will help your body fight colds and flu – it aids the immune system so you will be less likely to become sick in the first place. Iron is good for women during certain times of the month. Hair-skin-and-nails works wonders for restoring health to your hair, skin and nails, you will be amazed at how fast you hair grows, how strong your nails become and how healthy you skin will look.
The greatest thing I have experienced due to my change in diet has been my increased energy and ability to think and to concentrate. In short eating healthy has given me what I need to reach my potential in life. I encourage you all to think about how the foods you are eating are affecting your life and your ability to do the things you want to do. Basically you really can’t go wrong with a healthy balanced diet; it really is the most fundamental part of making the most of your life!

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