I was essentially raised on a diet of canned fruit, boxed mac & cheese, and Taco Bell. This is how it was. And, honestly, until I make some changes my kids might be able to say the same thing. Only their version will be applesauce, mac & cheese, and the occasional trip to “Chicken Flay.” To my defense, and slightly better peace of mind, the apple sauce and cheesy pasta are both organic.
I’ve always been into nutrition and health. I was set on this path when I was 11. A 60 Minutes episode on Meat Processing turned me into a vegetarian overnight. Or at least a non-cow eater. (Guys, I didn’t even know steak existed. We were too poor for steak. If I did, my life might have taken a totally different course, ’cause STEAK.) Then I saw the movie Babe, and quickly turned away from anything pig-related. I was an impressionable pre-teen. Obviously.
I carefully shielded myself from anything remotely related to how chicken came to my plate. I wouldn’t even look at chickens. I didn’t want to think about it. I clung to ignorance like ketchup on my favorite nuggets. You know?
And then a pair of brown eyes under the rim of a cowboy hat really turned my diet upside down. Urgh. The things a girl will do for a good-looking guy. I’m *slightly* ashamed of myself. He was a Vegan, and then a Raw Foodist. I read all of the books he pushed my way, plus a few more. I watched all the documentaries he pushed my way, plus a few more. I went to the little underground-type meetings/dinners of like-minded people, and decided Veganism was right for me.
He did not stay in my life, thankfully! BUT, I will credit that relationship as being important to my future in that it 1. Introduced me to Trader Joes. And 2. Sparked this renewed interest in the field of nutrition and holistic health and wellness. I kept reading. I kept paying attention.
Then a few things collided.
- An INTENSE craving for tuna. TUNA! I’ve never ever in my life particularly liked tuna.
- An article in a magazine about fish helping women carry babies to term.
- A mild freaking out about “What if I can’t carry babies?!”
(I ate the tuna.)
Enter: Another cowboy. A REAL one. One raised on a cattle ranch. Who knew how to rope and ride. Who hunted. Who fished. Who was funny and smart and exceptionally attractive. He was totally okay with dating a Vegan so long as it was stemmed from personal preference and not a moral stance against the killing of animals. I showed him my leather shoes and he asked me out on another date.
I married that cowboy. We wanted babies that wouldn’t come.
My body seemed to be falling apart. I had all kinds of strange, unpleasant, and in some cases alarming symptoms, but no answers. I went to a couple different doctors that were no help at all. I wasn’t crazy. I wasn’t stressed. I wasn’t depressed. I was something that wasn’t normal.
But God is good, and through a great deal of prayer I was Divinely led to a woman who finally gave me not only the answers I needed, but the tools I needed to heal. I took all that she taught me and immediately began to put it to work in my life. Progress was slow, but I wasn’t looking back. I wanted a healthy body. I wanted a baby.
Turned out God was the one who gave me the direct answers I needed to achieve that. Obedience produced a child. And then another.
In the middle of all of that I earned a B.A. in Elementary Education and I certified as a Holistic Nutrition Consultant. I’ve spent countless hours reading, watching, researching holistic health related topics. I’ve also discovered Weston Price, have become a believer in steak, and last year I dove head-first into Crossfit.
I’m still a long way off from where I’d like to be, but closer than I was a couple years ago. It’s about desire. It’s about effort. It’s about progress not perfection. Progress not perfection.
It’s a mantra of mine.