photo of reid in harsh darkness

You Deserve It All

Posted on Posted in Mind-Body Healing, Treatments

While I recommend many different treatments for overcoming your health condition, dietary changes tend to be the most effective from what I’ve seen personally and in others I have met.

When I abandoned the Standard American Diet (SAD) in early 2005, and changed how I ate, I had no idea it would force me to become a different person. I am very grateful for that.

Photo of Reid in May 2004

To look back at old pictures and to feel as though I am looking at a completely different person, totally physically separate from who I am today, is a very empowering feeling. It reminds me that change is possible and I am capable of anything that I set my mind to.

Changing your diet is extremely difficult to make because you are changing what you do and think on a daily basis. Day by day you are becoming a different person. It’s not unlike deciding to go to the gym, every day and your whole life now revolves around going to the gym… every single frickin’ day. It’s exhausting, daunting, and scary.

My Wisdom

A friend of mine asked if I had any advice I could share with her as she transitions to the Paleo diet. I came up with the below. Let me know if you find this helpful!

Overall, you must be your own best friend. Do the best you can and be fiercely supportive of yourself, even if you don’t meet your goals. Your self-love will give you more energy to keep going when you need it the most.

Most people fail doing their dietary change because they run into too many obstacles and don’t know how to resolve them.

Identify Possible Obstacles

  • Lack of support sys who undermines your efforts
  • Time to shop and cook
  • Access to healthier food
  • Too expensive
  • Cravings that are not allowed
  • Lack of food prep and cooking skills

Prioritize

Rank the obstacles in importance/how much of an impact they have on you. For example they might be:

  1. Too expensive
  2. Access to healthier food
  3. Time to shop and cook
  4. Lack of food prep and cooking skills
  5. Cravings that are not allowed
  6. Lack of support sys/people who undermines your efforts

Problem Solve

Decide how you are going to solve each obstacle. Here are some possible solutions for each of the above obstacles.

Too expensive

  • Seek out friends with gardens and ask for cheaper prices, trades, or freebies
  • Prioritize buying cheaper, longer lasting food that is still allowed on health plan
  • Ask friends to join you in a CSA/bulk meat buying club to split the costs and food
  • Cut costs in other areas of your life

Access to healthier food

  • Ask friends for help
  • Buy online
  • Talk to farmers, gardeners, ask if they have ideas, maybe they can deliver to a drop location closer to you
  • Look for farmers markets where the food venders come to a location you may have easier access to

Time to shop and cook

  • Keep it simple to reduce time. Each meal could be one protein, with 2 to 4 types of vegetables. Cook in olive oil, season with spices, mix all together in a bowl. You don’t need complicated time consuming meals, such as a lasagna.
  • When you do cook, make larger amounts and save the rest for left overs or freeze for later when you are exhausted and need a pre-made meal, like a homemade lasagna or soup.
  • Ask friends to help with shopping or cooking, make it a fun event.

Lack of food prep and cooking skills

  • Like anything, it takes time to learn new knowledge and skills, so be patient with yourself.
  • Accept that you will make mistakes and laugh
  • Keeping meals simple, i.e. stir-fry of meat and veggies, will reduce the amount of frustrating mistakes you make.
  • Ask friends and family for help
  • Watch YouTube videos, buy books to learn what you need to.
  • Take a class in your local community.

Cravings that are not allowed

  • Cravings come from stress, do what you can to minimize stress and use strategies to deal w/ the stress without using food, like working out, going for a walk, meditation, yoga, etc.
  • Make sure you are filling up on protein and healthy fats. Eat plenty of avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, and healthy butter. The protein and butter should be as wild raised (pastured, grassfed, wild, etc) as possible to reduce your exposure to hormones, antibiotics and other drugs/chemicals.
  • Eat lots of vegetables
  • Eat/drink fermented food (kefir is filling)
  • Drink lots of water (filling). I drink about 24oz when I wake up in the AM, then another 24oz in afternoon between 3 and 5p, depending on my schedule.
  • If you are still craving, replace your cravings with a healthy alternative. Medjool dates are mine. Whole fruit is another option.
  • Avoid environments that are full of tempting unhealthy food, convenience stores, friends’ houses, fast food restaurants. When shopping in a food store, avoid the middle aisles and only shop on the perimeter for your fresh natural food.

Lack of support sys/people who undermine you

  • Find friends and family who will root for you and help you. Stay away or at least don’t talk about your health changes with those who don’t support you.
  • For those who will try to tempt you by offering their unhealthy food, you need to stand your ground, set boundaries and if they don’t stop offering you food you don’t want to eat, you need to stop seeing them. If they are trying to undermine your efforts to be the best person you can be, they don’t deserve to be in your life.

Own Your Life

I know that last bit is harsh and painful, but you are embarking on a very difficult mission. You need to get fierce and think in ways that will make you an unstoppable force to be respected. Nothing should get in your way, and if something does, there will be hell to pay.

When it comes to your health, nothing is more important. You deserve it all; the peace of mind, the energy, the health, and the freedom to live your life in a way that suits you best.

How you live your life should suit your goals.

Not your parents.

Not your loved ones, or friends.

Not your job.

And not your government.

Only you.

Nothing else matters, because you are here for a reason. You matter in this universe. I don’t know how, but that’s for you to discover. And if you are sick and unwell, you won’t be able to discover and share your purpose with others.

Whatever it is that you have to share with us, those gifts that are not being shared because you are unwell… we need them.

We needed them yesterday.

The planet and the people need you to get well.

We’re rooting for you and we want you to succeed. So you better start now. It won’t be easy, but if you are compassionate with yourself each and every day, and you embrace the mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow, it will be worth it.

photo of reid in harsh darkness

Before you know it, you’ll back at your old self and you won’t even recognize that person any more. Instead of being who you are today, you’ll be even more fucking amazing.

Stay colonized,

-Reid