This article is written by Lindsey Tayara, contributing blogger for PeeDeeFoodie.com.
When you think of “food” what comes to mind? Even better, when you think of super tasty yummy food what comes to mind? Is it a cupcake piled high with creamy frosting? Or a pizza loaded with the works? We are submerged in a culture driven by addiction, the addiction of substances. And food is that substance that most people are addicted to. Sugar itself can be an addiction. Did you know that when you eat a sugary snack that your brain releases opioids, a natural chemical that leads to feelings of pleasure and happiness? And did you also know that scientific research has shown that heroin and morphine stimulate your brain in the same way as sugar? How do you feel about that? What makes an everyday sugary snack addict different from the latter? I know that’s a harsh thought but both cause extreme damage to your body, they both create an addiction, and they both give you a false sense of comfort. Food should absolutely create a sense of comfort but not in the sense you may think. We should go beyond our need for immediate gratification and the pleasures unhealthy substances bring.
When I think of food, good food, a good meal for instance, I think of a Roasted tomato quiche with real butter and farm fresh eggs topped with pure parmesan cheese. Or fresh cut fruit mixed with Greek yogurt and drizzled with honey. You may be thinking quiche? With butter? And cheese? Yep, you can still eat it! Eggs are loaded with protein and contain all 9 essential amino acids! Real butter? Yep, butter is a great source of Vitamins E and K and butter also contains saturated fats that have strong anti-tumor and anti-cancer properties! What matters most when making food choices is if you are gaining something from the meal you consume!
The moment I changed my diet my life changed for the better and permanently. There is no coming back from the understanding of food and its importance. I have done some serious soul searching, meditation, and have had plenty of heart to hearts with my body. I have tuned in to my body so that I can fully understand what it needs. Your body constantly sends out signals of distress, need, or want, all you have to do is listen. Your body will tell you everything it needs, but it’s your responsibility to provide just that. I have a headache, well how much water have I had today? I’m feeling sluggish and tired, again WATER ( I’m big on water being a cure all ) but maybe I haven’t had a healthy dose of nutrients that are packed into veggies such as kale.
We have to create balance in our lives and that should start by understanding our bodies, what it needs, and what fuel should go in it. Healthy eating doesn’t for one second mean that you are sacrificing everything you love. I believe we have labeled “Healthy” and put it in a little box, but we should shatter that image of what we believe to be societies idea of what healthy looks like. You don’t have to be a marathon runner nor should you weigh a certain number on a scale. We are all different and so are our bodies. Yes exercise is very important in achieving optimum health, but don’t think that you have to be wearing yoga pants and trendy sneakers sipping on a green tea latte to be “healthy”. Healthy should begin and end with food. If you start with your diet then you can continue to set your goals higher and higher until one day you may decide to run that 5k! But first and foremost we need to understand the importance of eating clean and chemical free food!
So I encourage you to start by doing a little research. What helped me the most were the vast amounts of food documentaries to choose from which are packed full of wonderful little nuggets of information. And know that the knowledge of food and health are constantly growing and can seem a little over whelming, but take it one article, movie, column at a time and absorb all of this information because food is the key to living the happy and healthy life we all want and deserve.
Editor’s Note: Look around PeeDeeFoodie.com for resources and links to learn more about our recommended source for locally and regionally produced “real food“, as well as simple ways that you can start learning how to slowly change your diet. For instance, do you know the difference between hybrids and GMOs?
About the AuthorLindsey Tayara is a mother of two girls and 3 hens and is originally from Bennettsville SC. She moved to Florence in the 90′s and met and married her husband, Bryan, many years later. Lindsey and her husband, through Our Local Catch, sell only local and sustainable seafood. She is also one of the founders and chair holders of Slow Food Pee Dee, our regional chapter of the international grass roots movement that promotes eating and supporting all things local.
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I'm training for a marathon right now, and when I do a Saturday long run, I can feel everything I ate and everything I did not eat throughout the week. Being an athlete, people are always like "Oh, you run 35 miles per week- you can eat whatever you want", but that's not necessarily true. Yes, I can generally eat and not gain weight, but if I fuel my body with trash, my workouts are gonna be trash.
Fortunately, Charleston has a lot of options. Almost every restaurant here uses locally sourced ingredients. My church even sells farm fresh eggs on Sunday morning sometimes to raise money for the church (they also sell fair trade coffee, etc). Mindset here is really big on local foods.
I also feel like drinking water is huge. I love the occasional soda or sugary coffee drink (Starbucks Skinny Mocha frappe, anyone?), but that's a once a week thing, in addition to all the water. Typically people who drink other things aren't drinking enough water. I feel like it purifies our bodies, and lots of times when people think they're hungry, they are really thirsty.