I watched a documentary called "Forks Over Knives" while at work this weekend. The basic premise is that eating a whole food plant based diet is good for you while consuming animal products (meat, dairy, and eggs) have been linked to increased incidents of certain cancers and other diseases. The studies they talked about were very interesting. However, given that my job is within the healthcare/scientific field, I understand that I could probably find studies that say the exact opposite of what those reviewed in the documentary showed.
One of my biggest issues is that I feel like I'm always tired. When pregnant, I'm anemic so I'm wondering if I'm anemic all the time? I also rely on caffeine as my job is 14-hour shifts overnight every Friday and Saturday. Combine that with having two small children (currently 5 months and 25 months) and a husband that has to be out of town/state more often than not, it's probably somewhat understandable that I'm tired. The caffeine is also helpful for when I've stayed up too late - as I'm doing right now - and the kids get up at 7'ish. You'd think I'd learn my lesson. So those things and my self-diagnosed addiction to sugar. Yes, I can admit that I'm a sugaraholic. I LOVE the stuff. Sometimes I feel like I NEED the stuff. I feel great when I eat something sweet (like a couple pieces of a chocolate cake that I made tonight - ugh) but then the fullness, sugar letdown, sluggish feeling returns and I again wonder why I did it.
This documentary has given me a renewed vigor to get up off my ass and make a change. Some of the people profiled in it sang the praises of just having more energy. What I wouldn't give to have more energy!! Now I'm not saying I'm going all vegetarian or anything like that. I could take or leave meat for the most part but I do love a good steak, piece of chicken/fish, or sushi here and there. But if eating more whole foods and fruits and veggies and less processed and refined foods will get me some energy, I'm all for it. I NEED it. My employer has a program that encourages healthy lifestyles and I participate every year. And every year all my numbers look great. My blood pressure is perfect, all the bloodwork is great, my weight is probably actually a little bit low. But not this year. This year I got a wake-up call. And actually it was only one number that really got me but...it really got me.
The first step in becoming healthier will be the hardest but I need to feel better and I need to set an excellent example for my children. It's like I'm trying to plan some big fanfare, really enjoy my last meal of crap, wait for the perfect day to make changes, etc. In reality, I need to just do it. And if (when) I stumble and eat more chocolate cake, I get back up and keep taking those steps.