As some may think I don’t come from a nutrition background. Everything I know now came from endless hours of scouring the web, reading books and listening to podcasts. For Heaven’s sake I grew up eating powdered donuts and drinking chocolate milk for breakfast. Lunch consisted of deep fried burritos, a candy bar and Dr. Pepper. Back then I didn’t know the importance of eating the right foods. We were just like any other middle class family. We ate cheap and tried to save money wherever could, even if it meant eating lots of prepackaged food.
It wasn’t until my freshman year of college when my mom was diagnosed with Leukemia for the third time that we started looking for alternative ways for her to beat cancer. Being through chemo twice before, she knew all too well the horrible side effects and refused to do it for a third time. After lots of research and doctors, my mom decided changing her diet and lifestyle was the best option. We did a complete 360 from eating a heavily processed diet of chemicals and preservative filled foods to eating whole, organic foods and using organic cleaning products, soaps and anything else we put in or on our body.
In the beginning it was a struggle, trying to figure out what was actually healthy and what wasn’t. What we should and shouldn’t eat. We went from buying processed bread, baked goods and easy staples to making our own from scratch. Let me tell you, that was probably one of the hardest things. But myself, dad and sister knew that for my mom’s best chance at survival we needed to change our lifestyle as well, to support her and learn that way of eating so when she was too weak to prepare it herself we all knew how to.
At the time I wasn’t sold on the simple task of changing someone’s diet and lifestyle in return for better health. I had very low confidence that this would be the answer to our prayers. But I did it anyway.
As I researched more I began to learn the harmful effects of chemicals and preservatives that companies put not only in our cosmetics, but also in our food. Did you know that monosodium glutamate (MSG), a common ingredient in your food used to preserve and enhance flavor has been linked to cancer as well as cardiac, respiratory, neurological and gastrointestinal disorders just to name a few?! And propylene glycol, a common ingredient in cosmetic products is used by the chemical, food and pharmaceutical industries as an antifreeze when leakage might lead to contact with food. What?! So, your telling me that the same ingredient found in anti-freeze is also found in the products I’m putting on my skin!
When I started researching ingredients and their harmful side effects and the diseases that they can contribute to I really started to think twice before eating and putting certain products on my skin. It’s funny how certain actions that you are doing on a daily basis can be a potential health complication. It really makes you think twice and totally jump 100% on board with changing your current lifestyle to that of a healthy one. “Is it easy to change everything? No. But is it worth it? Absolutely!”
It’s been 10 years since my mom went into remission with her third bought of cancer and I have a 100% healthy lifestyle change to thank. Not chemo or other harmful drugs. Just the good fruit of this land!
This was one of the most challenging times in my life, but this quote rings true; “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” Although those years were a struggle, I am thankful. Thankful for learning the lifestyle that I live true to now. Without those events in my life, chances are I would be living a life full of fatigue, sickness and low self-esteem. With how busy we are in today’s world there is no question we need extra supplements and healthy whole foods full of vitamins and minerals that we may be lacking on a daily basis. This is why it is so important to be conscious of what you put in and on your body and why I choose to full my body with Heather’s Choice packable foods and snacks while I’m in the backcountry hunting or simply just in a hurry and need healthy options.
“A healthy lifestyle not only changes your body. It changes your mind, your attitude and your mood.”