I don’t know how it happened, but the wheels started to fall off a couple of weeks ago. I think the low point of my slippage was when we lost power for 24 hours. We didn’t dare open the refrigerator/freezer, so instead we ate peanut butter sandwiches, Pringles and chocolate. And it wasn’t vegan dark chocolate. Somehow I even let my morning smoothie routine slip. And what do ya know – my skin started to look TERRIBLE (breakouts everywhere), I became lazy and unmotivated, I was “backed up” (sorry if that’s t.m.i.), and I just didn’t feel good. I knew I needed to get back on track with lots of water, fruits and veggies.
Over the past month or so, Hubs and I have watched a few really impactful documentaries. First it was Forks Over Knives, then Food, Inc., then on Christmas day, we watched Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. There are mixed reviews about all three of these films. While they arguably contain bits of misleading information here and there, the overall point is that the average American diet needs HELP. We are an obese, pill-popping nation that prefers a quick fix over prevention and maintenance. We are addicted to processed foods and we discount the power of whole foods. After watching the first two films (which are equally powerful and worth your time), I was left feeling fired up and kind of sad (mostly due to our corrupt food industry). I also felt overwhelmed by the seemingly impossible task of changing the way Americans eat.
However, after watching Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, both Hubs and I felt inspired and motivated. An overweight Aussie (Joe Cross) with an uncommon autoimmune disorder embarks on a mission to reboot his system and heal his body with micronutrients (fruits and vegetables). He does this in America with a 60-day fresh fruit and vegetable juice fast – 30 days in NY, 30 days traveling across the country. Not only does he drop 80+ pounds and is able to discontinue his medication, he also talks to hundreds of Americans about health and nutrition along the way. He meets a morbidly obese truck driver (who happens to share the same uncommon condition) and offers to help him get healthy. This guy (Phil Staples) is 400+ pounds, can barely walk from his truck to the truck stop and has “hopeless” written all over his face. You want him to take Joe’s help, but you don’t believe he will. And he doesn’t – not for several months. Finally, he reaches the end of his rope and calls Joe, who THOUGHT he was done filming his documentary. Much to the contrary, this is where the film gets really interesting. Phil’s in REALLY BAD shape. Inspired to try Joe’s juice fast, he begins with a 10-day goal, which then turns to 30, then 60 days. He also begins exercising and he inspires others while teaching juicing classes in his community. Slowly but surely, you see light and joy return to Phil’s face. Hopelessness fades and a new outlook is born. Phil continued his journey after the documentary and dropped over 200 pounds in the first 10 months!
If this story doesn’t inspire you to take responsibility for your health, I don’t know what will. It was just the kick in the pants I needed to end my week or so of carelessness. Not that I’ll be doing a 60-day juice fast right away, but I did get right back to my morning green smoothie routine. Back to more fruits and veggies. Back to feeling GOOD! Happily, my skin is recovering from the nasty breakouts. It’s so incredibly easy to fall off the wagon and can be so hard to get back on. I think the key is not letting the wagon get too far away. Catching back up after a day or two isn’t too bad. A week isn’t even that bad. But let a month go by, and that wagon seems like it’s a long way off. So we just let it go and wait for the next one to come along, which may be months, years away.
As I reflect on 2012, I am so thankful for my health and all that I’ve learned in a year’s time. I’ve been feeling so good that I forgot what I felt like before. Turns out, that momentary relapse was just the reminder I needed. In 2013, I intend to continue learning, exercise more, utilize our new greenhouse, try LOTS of new recipes, and of course, share it all with YOU! Here’s to a healthy new year!
p.s. If you need some motivation to start off the new year on the right foot, watch the three films I mentioned, but especially Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead – which is available to rent on both Netflix and iTunes (or at Blockbuster and for purchase at Amazon).