My fruit dish with bananas, kiwi, cacao nibs
Yesterday I wrote a blog about inspiring women and mentioned a woman who was very negative in her words. A friend commented to me, via email, that the negative woman probably needed to eat healthier.
I reminded my friend that eating healthy is a mere 10 percent of the battle. In order to lead a happy life, it’s a make-up of many things: love/good friendships, exercise, creativity, spirituality/faith, and yes, food, but to an extent.
Some people are too obsessed with food and ignore everything else. I look back to my early days as a raw foodist and remember all the arguments on forums with the “elite” and the “holier-than-thous” who measured their worth by what percentage of raw food they ate.
I always laughed because I’d be out doing something fun, then go back on the computer and see these people still spewing their militant hatred toward anyone who wasn’t raw or vegan. Ewww!
Attitudes like this can’t possibly be healthy. I know because I’ve been there myself. The punchline is I thought I was healthy because my diet was pristine. I only weighed 105. I wouldn’t even go to a restaurant because I wanted to eat nothing but the most pure food. I once looked into a raw food kitchen at a popular NYC restaurant, noticed that McCormack’s spices (non-organic ones) and stopped going to that restaurant.
Is that any way to live? Isolating yourself? Not socializing because food isn’t good enough for you?
Yeah, I looked great, but honestly, I didn’t feel great. I felt like a freak. I felt sad and lonely because I couldn’t participate in social engagements people invited me to. And when I did bite the bullet and eat out, I’d get rashes on my skin as a reaction to having food that wasn’t pure because I was TOO pure! One of my friends referred this to the “Princess and the Pea.”
How awful it was, mentally and my health suffered too. I remember getting more headaches, having more anger inside me and being way too hyper.
One time when a woman found out I was a vegetarian and invited me to lunch at Veggie Heaven in Montclair and stupid me, I said “no” because their ingredients weren’t pure enough for me. I was becoming one of the ugly people on the raw food message boards that creeped me out!
Well, guess what? Now Veggie Heaven is one of my favorite restaurants and I enjoy many wonderful lunches there with friends and clients. I also take home Veggie Heaven food to my husband who loves it.
Once I weaned myself off of raw foods and started adding healthy cooked foods (more macro-biotic) into my diet and some healthy junk like whole wheat pasta and sprouted bread, I gained some weight (many said I looked better with the weight gain) and felt so much happier … more balanced.
I was so glad I realized health is more than just health foods after three years of heading into a downward spiral. Even though I wasn’t anorexic or bulimic, I had the same food issues. All I would think about was my next meal. How was I going to eat on the holidays. How to avoid food at events. And THAT is not good!
Sad to say, I know too many people obsessed with eating clean food, obsessed with their weight, that they don’t know how to enjoy life. And on the other hand, I know people who eat crappy food (or eat healthy but aren’t health obsessed) but are always positive and lead fulfilling lives because they are spiritual and optimistic and know the meaning of “balance.”
Now for me, healthy food is still important. I can definitely get depressed if I eat too much chocolate. It’s called the “sugar blues.” But the key, in my opinion, is balance.
Yesterday a client called me “Happy Pants.”
I laughed and asked, “Why are you calling me that?”
He said, “Because you’re always happy. You’re always smiling.”
Yeah, 90 percent of the time I am! Because I realized good health is not just about food. And this client knows that too, as he was the one who said to me, “What comes out of your mouth is more important than what goes into it.”
Kind words go a lot further than a kale shake.