It all started way back when in college when my roommate and I were out at one of our favorite chill spots in Tuscaloosa. Just another day ordering what we thought was a regular lunch. Then we got our food and shockingly noticed everything we ordered had been breaded and dipped in a fryer. Yes everything, from the ‘sandwich’ to the sides to the fries. We both took a couple of bites then our minds got the best of us. Things had to change.
That’s where it all started for me. I wasn’t overweight, I wasn’t out of shape, but I wasn’t eating healthy either. What was going in body had no beneficial value except filling my stomach. And that lunch made us both realize we’ve got to do better. Ever since that day that I remember so clearly I’ve decided to start making steps forward in my health.
When I say health I really mean physical, mental and spiritual health. Not just eating but general hygiene, self-help books, and growing in my relationship with Christ. This post will do a tad bit of justice skimming over all four.
I started back in 2007 just trying to shop for more things that were ‘natural’ and making sure there was something ‘green’ on my meal plate. Since then I have progressed to an organic/vegetarian/raw food-ist diet. In the video I explain how my diet is now, but I wanted to touch on some things I did not address. First, I am only providing for myself right now so this diet is very feasible for me. I hate when people say that and organic diet is sooo expensive, its a cop out. When you eat green and leafy your body gets the nutrition it needs, therefore you won’t feel the need to binge eat! When you’re in a family you do have to sacrifice some parts of this diet but it can still be done. Secondly, I do treat myself. Please believe I have my box of Magnum Ice Cream bars in the freezer and on 4th of July I eat BBQ, but at this point these are limited encounters. Not because I’m withholding things from myself but because I choose to eat healthier, and there are always better options. So here is the video:
Here is the recap of my tips on healthy eating:
- Mature your taste buds! Stop eating that processed JUNK!
- Snack healthy! Fruits, nuts, and veggies.
- PORTION SIZES! If its meat, don’t eat more that a fist sized amount, if its greens eat as much as you like. 🙂
- Easy with the sodas and juices! Stop drinking the sodas, and dilute the 100% fruit juice.
- Choose the better option! Just because you are at Outback doesn’t mean you have to get steak!
- Water, water, water! Save the whales, buy (and use) a filtered water bottle.
This was the second thing I needed to change desperately. If you were to enter my bathroom and see everything I used on a weekly basis, you would probably wonder why I didn’t look like Michael Jackson. I mean when you really think about it how much body wash, lotion, and makeup do you really need to be presentable? Healthy Hygiene really results from healthy eating, that is the first step. The second step I took was to throw everything out! I started using Dove soap since they claimed to be the most basic and beneficial cleanser. For my face I used (and continue to use at times) Purpose soap. I was struggling with acne at that point, and Purpose seemed to cleanse my face without stripping the good oils out. For lotion I used cocoa butter and for my hair I still used whatever I could get my hands on.
Now things are different. I don’t wear makeup, the most drastic I will get at this point is mascara and lip gloss. I travel with four products that suite me just fine for all my hygiene needs. My all natural toothpaste, Dr. Bronner’s castille soap, my crystal stone deodorant, and my shea butter mixture. That is it! Really…. I’m not lying. They say you can use the Dr. Bronner’s soap as toothpaste too, but I’m not that frugal. I can wash my hair with the Castille soap and condition/style it with the shea butter. Just think for a second on how much money I’m NOT spending in the hygiene category. Four products that only need to be replaced maybe twice a year. I am currently on my second year with this regimen and I am not disappointed. My skin shines, my teeth are white, my hair is growing, and I smell great!
The one hair tip I will give is actually a rule. If you are going to do unnatural things to your hair then please use unnatural products (ie: perm, straightening, blow-drying, dying). If you are just braiding and twisting your hair use water and shea butter and save your money.
Self Help Books
Since I have posted my reading list in a previous post this section will be quick. Your mental health is dependent on feeding your brain positiveness. If there is a book sale near you, go! Gain as much knowledge as possible and don’t let your mind be idle. Don’t spend half your day watching music videos, learn to become a master at something. Pursue your passion first through the thirst of knowledge about it. Ever since my precious aunt gave me an HP Touch Pad tablet, I have devoured numerous books on it. I take it everywhere to gain knowledge. I make notes about each book I read and I email them to my friends. My biggest transformation for my mental health came in graduate school where I was able to see and speak with a lot of diverse minds. I realized that even my greatest passions were not fed and that I needed mental growth. Now I am on a pursuit for life-long learning. There is always time to read something.
Growing with Christ
This has been the best part. Over the years as I searched out myself, I found that my identity lays in Christ. He made me, He knows me, and I must know Him in order to know myself. I hear from Christ daily by reading my Bible, which are His words to me. Back in 2007 I wasn’t even close to realizing what He wants from me. Now, when I wake up that is my priority. The biggest transformation for me here was finding that this journey is not taken alone. God put so many wonderful Christian mentors, mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters in my life to sow love into my spirit. That extra encouragement goes a long way. God has provided me with everything I need to grow close to Him and pursue His will. He has tested me (several times) and blessed me by building my faith. Though I have faced several trials since 2007 I have grown tremendously and appreciated every heartache. Now He has blessed me with an overflow of His love that I can pour out to others that are on this journey to building a healthy spiritual life by growing closer to Christ. This is the best part about me.