Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Day 4 of the Writer's Challenge

Day 4 of the Writer's Challenge;

I write about my health because 
Reflect on why you write about your health for 15-20 minutes without stopping.

15 to 20 minutes, are you sure?  I type pretty quickly & I'm not entirely sure anybody would want to read 15-20 minutes of my blubber, nor am I sure I have enough content to answer this question to fill 15-20 minutes of typing.  But anyway, here goes..

Image from Flickr

I think anyone who has been reading my blog for more than 4.3-4.8 seconds (4.9 does have a chance), would now know that I spent a hefty chunk of my life, 'under the weather', to say the least.  In case you fall into the under 4.3 seconds of reading Natalie's blog category, you can read a post I wrote as I just started recovering from said period of ill health for Mia Freedman on her web site Mama Mia, here.  Or here.

Needless to say, that was the worst period in my life.  In fact, to be honest, it was such a bad period that my brain seems to have wiped it and genuinely can't remember the majority of it, I only know I experienced it because of the videos and writing I did.  I kind of remember the night I first became paralyzed and definitely became bed bound, (Easter Sunday eve 2006), and then I remember going to the supermarket again for the first time sometime in 2009.  The whole period in between, which I spent in bed, is gone from my mind.  Sometimes, I am glad.

My illness was not avoidable and certainly not preventable in mine and many professionals' opinions, however while I was ill and especially as I was recovering, I started to learn how I could help the management of my symptoms just with what I ate.  It made me sad to learn a lot of people with my illness, well, a milder form, got through their days eating fast food and downing energy drinks or caffeinated drinks as I had started learning what that was doing to their body in the long term.  Then I started to realise some people have illness and feel sick all the time, just like I did, (some just as severe), purely because of the food and nutrition choices they have made in their life/just because of the meals they choose to eat and the way they do their grocery shopping.  This bothered me, and still bothers me so, so much.  How can you have this one single body and treat it like crap every day?  Surely if you knew you'd end up sick, you wouldn't have eaten all that rubbish?  I figured people who did this didn't really know how fabulous they could feel if they just changed their diet and learnt how to cook, and so my passion for teaching people about food as a preventative medicine begun.

You will sometimes see me get fired up about fad diets, which is, in my opinion, anything that takes over the media and is non-stopped talked about, despite how warranted or scientifically proven is - fad to me is any trendy diet.  I think people lose sight of the middle ground and have a kind of all or nothing approach.  I hate that!  I want people to learn an approach to food and healthy living that is just a change in lifestyle and a new mind set.  OK, I get it, sugar is the devil and all that, but if I go to a wedding I am going to eat a piece of wedding cake and this does not make me an idiot or ill-informed, I know exactly what I am eating and how it is interacting with my body, but I choose to do it anyway.  This is what I want for the world, the knowledge; how people use it is completely up to them, as long as they are aware.

I think the sad thing is many people don't know what they're eating, not everyone reads the nutrition panels (or NIPS, as I've recently learnt they're abbreviated to in industry..), and not everyone reads the ingredients list.  Not everyone knows there's sugar and chemicals in foods they'd never expect.

I write about nutrition and health to make people aware and to educate.

If you came to me and had a chronic illness and decided to manage it with energy drinks, caffeine and sugar, and I told you what those items are doing to your body and you acknowledged and understood that and walked away to continue to consume them, I would respect your decision.  It's your body and you can do what you like with it, much the same as smokers and drinkers still smoke and drink; it's not due to lack of awareness.  I just can't stand the idea that people don't know what they're eating.

Also, I just plain bloody love it.  I am so, so lucky to have found such a huge passion in life and truly believe it's my life calling.  I live and breathe it, just asked poor M who's response to, 'Do you like it?' when I offer him something new to try, (like my recent walk over into sugar free brownie land), is, 'It's OK for something healthy / Yeah, you can tell it has no sugar, but it's OK'.

Phew, 13 minutes is enough!  Let me know if you read it all....

Whatever your blog is, why did you create it?

Stay well,

Nat x

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