Let’s start with Lipreading Mom’s lifelong addiction to all things sugary sweet. Candy and pre-sweetened cereal were my go-to foods since the time I could walk. I remember locking myself in the bathroom with a box of Choc-o-Chips Cereal, determined to finish the darn sweet stuff before my dad picked the lock. Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and Easter were my holidays of choice. Why? Candy corn, Hershey’s kisses, cinnamon hearts, and jelly beans.
When the sugar kicked in, I’d become hyper, happy, and productive. When the high stopped, I’d crave my next pick-me-up. As an adult, that energy-booster became coffee. With my morning mug in one hand and bowl of Frosted Mini-Wheats in the other, I was ready to start the day. Around two o’clock, I’d need another fix. Hello, Starbucks drive-through.
Meat is a different story. I was raised on an Oklahoma farm, and one season, my job was to help water the pigs in their trough. After a few times of smelly, muddy mayhem and squealing piggy chaos, I lost my taste for bacon. When my dad hauled a dying newborn calf into our laundry room and proceeded to perform CPR on it, I lost my taste for steak.
I didn’t give up chicken and fish until a couple of months ago when I started a plants-based eating plan. That includes all the fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, and whole grains I can swallow. Out with the coffee; in with the filtered water. Bye-bye candy and sugary cereal; hello trail mix and oatmeal.
How do I feel 40 days after giving up what I used to not want to live without? The roller coaster emotions I experienced with the sugar-caffeine fixes (anxiety, depression) have hit the road. I feel calmer and more focused, which helps when I’m trying hard to lipread my 10-, 7-, and 3-year-old tykes. My stomach, which was stretching out the waistline of my clothes, has even shrunk a little. I wonder if the sugar and meat-overloads of my younger years did some of that stretching. And I sleep better these days, which is a miracle since I’m a recovering insomniac.
I still live with progressive hearing loss and deal with occasional mood swings. My health isn’t completely perfect, but whose is?
If you want to find out what motivated me to give up jellybeans, Choc-o-Chips, Frappucinos, and Big Macs for 40 days, check out the study Devoted Bodies at http://www.devotedbodies.com.
Happy health to you.