Blog Assignment #3
If there is one thing I can say about myself, it is that I LOVE food. Savory, sweet, hot, or cold I will try it. All my life my parents always taught me to finish my food because there were people out there that were hungry and weren’t as lucky as me. And I did just that, never leaving a crumb. The typical meal for me as a child consisted of chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, and peas; some protein, carbs, and a small serving of vegetables. In a western style society, these are the macronutrients usually included in our diet as opposed to the Mediterranean diet consisting of many vegetables, grains and very little heavy meat products.
It wasn’t until my freshman year of high school that I began to notice the sluggish effects of a western style diet. Waking up tired, not having the energy to work out, and severe acne were all signs that I wasn’t eating well. But finally, when my parents went on the Bob Harper diet in 2012, the whole family had to participate. Constant meal prep, lots of veggies, and very little foods containing animal products. It was a hard time for all of us, especially my parents, but overall I found it very educational and a fun experience. I began to learn how important vegetables and fruits were for your diet and began to see positive results due to my eating habits.
The diet ended just as all diets do, and my parents went back to their normal eating habits, but I on the other hand had a lifestyle change. During those few months I felt the best I’ve ever felt and I wanted to stay that way.
Going into college I quickly realized that meat was something I didn’t particularly need in my diet. It was expensive, high in fat, and made me feel sluggish and bloated. But as I began to eat more veggies and less animal products, I contemplated veganism. This is currently a work in progress because every restaurant, grocery store, and home has food made with animal products. Cheese, chicken, and fish seem to be the biggest weaknesses for me when it comes to this new lifestyle change. But I just don’t know why I can’t give it up cold turkey.
You see, fish has high amounts of protein and fatty acids that are important for our bodies. But it is expected that by the year 2050 fisheries will overharvest these species and they will become extinct. Could you imagine not being able to see fish on a deep see adventure or not being able to visit them in your local aquarium. Well if this estimation is true, it will all be because of the human population.
While I believe that giving it up cold turkey would be the best way to prevent something like this from happening, that is nearly impossible. Too many companies and industries have so much money invested in fisheries and the meat industry that it is nearly impossible to get people to just stop eating it.
But… What if we changed this for the US? What if the norm was to eat a diet that was high in fruits and vegetables and low in animal protein and low in carbs? You see it was the little changes for me, replacing red meat with spinach, hummus with cheese dip, kale chips with potato chips. All these changes have made me feel so much better mentally and physically. And I want to have this effect on the rest of the world. While not just one person can change the whole world, one person can make a difference. I think that by implementing vegan behaviors I can make a difference and influence those around me who struggle with this issue as well.
We truly can be and see the change. Best of luck in your, and your family`s, health journey.