you are what you eat: how I brought my energy back and slimmed down

 I am very excited about how great I feel after I simply changed my diet!  My energy level is much greater. I sleep better. My rosacea prone skin has improved. My workouts seem easier, and my stomach and waist are diminishing.

By general standards, my diet before wasn't really that bad, but my energy level was an issue and I was gaining weight. I decided to finally commit to doing something about it. I work out too hard at the gym to accept a middle aged pot belly and weight gain. Clearly I cannot just eat whatever I want and still be slim like I did in my 20's. I now 'eat clean' : lots of fruit and veggies, lean proteins, and good carbs. No junk. There lots of tasty foods to choose from, but they are not deep fried, salty, sugary and high fat. Check out this link:   http://www.eatcleandiet.com/ for more info. I know many people who have gone on a similar plan as this, recommended by naturopaths. 

This is a diet that we should all be using as a guideline simply for good health. Preservatives, processed foods and junk foods are taking a toll on all of us, making us tired and sick. I would never consider going hungry, and I never am following this plan.

I love food and I believe in enjoying the good things in life. My Italian parents fed us well. They raised us with 'la dolce vita' approach. The sweet life, all things in moderation. I do enjoy my favourite food, a piece of chocolate everyday and I plan on having a piece of my Mom's birthday cake next week on her 79th birthday.

My parents were great role models for health. My Mom walks a minimum of one hour every day as well as doing light weights several times a week. She also does yoga and aqua fit. She and my Dad used to grow a large garden in the backyard where a lot of our vegetables came from. Growing up, we ate lots of vegetables, healthily prepared meats, home-made everything including soups and pasta sauce. Fruit for dessert, no pop. 

My dad hated restaurants and we never ate out. He thought the food was awful. I still laugh at the day that we actually ate at McDonald's as a family. We were all starving and far from home after spending several hours in the emerg when my sister broke her arm. My dad was actually physically ill that night. Just the other day my daughter was begging me to take her out for fast food. We never go. I am not a fan.

I am grateful to my parents for teaching me how to eat healthy, but good intentions slide when you're a working mom in a busy world. My kids are teens now, which makes it easier for me to pop out to the market and even prepare a later meal. I have taught them how to prepare simple snacks and meals to hold off their constant teen-aged hunger :)  I hope that my kids will remember when they are adults what I taught them about picking good foods and keeping active.

It is true what they say: 'you are what you eat'  'your body is your temple'  'your life is a gift'   

as the Italian toast goes:

'salute' (to your health) 

       

Sandra Maniago
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