I write about my life and life itself seen through my eyes for who can write through the experiences of others if not their own?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

On the Healthy Choice

Pursuing good health or at the very least some kind of improvement, I drastically changed my diet after a rude awakening 8 years ago.

In the imminence of the crisis, I switched from my morning hot chocolate to juicing all kinds of vegetables into a green and at times brown thick substance. Far behind were left the “carne asada”, gyros, my medium rare steaks and juicy hamburgers and replaced with baked chicken and fish.

Only a very mild smoker, my last puff of a cigarette was exhaled one day in the parking lot of my office as I waited for results.

Every suggestion anyone who had “been there, done that” gave me became gospel to me. I was directed to a Homeopathic doctor who changed my diet even more dramatically and gave me clock time guidelines. I was to avoid before 3:00 P.M. all white flours and anything my body could turn into sugar and I was instructed to consume them only in small quantities thereafter. Even fruits were on this hour schedule.

I said good-bye to Hungry Man and the processed TV dinners I seldom ate and I increased the consumption of yogurt and fermented foods. Ice cream, my long time passion, due to its high content of sugar became a forbidden luxury.

The idea was to exclude what could feed the bad cells and arm my body with the right ammunition to fight the enemy and with that, I reluctantly accepted that my coffee would have no sugar…. ever and I switched from my beloved plain bagel to two slices of wheat bread.

I had never eaten badly and I was never too interested in fried or fatty foods. The difference is that I didn’t eat them because I didn’t want to not because it was forbidden. Something happens when the decision is made for us and suddenly it all becomes desirable.

Nevertheless, as it is with everything, I got used to it. 8 years later, I cannot tolerate sugar in my coffee. And a hamburger is in the same category as ice cream, a high luxury I normally can’t afford to have.

But although I no longer miss what I can’t have, occasionally I think of it as I walk past the local diner next door and the smell of bacon and home fries teases my senses or when a puff of smoke touches my face.

After these many years I have lessened a little the criteria of healthy eating pursuing now not only good health but also seeking a balance between preserving and enjoying life.

After all, there is no point in giving up something when the trade off does not compensate the loss. In my case, it has.