Manic Travel Thoughts
Hustling to the gate from Ling & Louie’s bar at DFW, where I enjoyed an incredible Asian chopped salad with sesame-soy dressing, I pass Popeye’s Fried Chicken. Growing up, Popeye represented strength, fortitude and spinach! Today Popeye represents a very long line of fried chicken lovers awaiting their fast-food fix. And it breaks my heart.
Traveling is one of my life’s greatest pleasures! On the plane and attentively listening to the pre-flight safety announcement, I realize how vague the instructions are for pulling down the mask to start the flow of oxygen. Like how hard? Semi-hard? Softly? So confusing. I guess my instincts will just kick in when and if I need to do so.
To be honest, I did have to “do so” years ago and I will say, it was pretty instinctual and effective, and I soared to an emergency landing in Spokane on my midnight flight from Seattle to Minneapolis, when we had lost cabin pressure. Scary but poignant, as I learned that those in-flight instructions really had sunk in, and kicked in, when I needed them.
The world we live in does not make healthy food choices easy or instinctual, nor give us clear instructions. Actually, the opposite. There is hyper-palatable food stimulation front in center every second of our lives, everywhere we go. It’s no wonder Americans suffer, often needlessly, with the horrors of chronic diseases and forfeit vibrant and healthy years of our lives to the ravages of prescription medications, doctors and hospital visits for the taste of foods that are designed to control us, keep us sick and kill us early. We can do better.
We can take back control of our lives and our plates, by making educated choices about what we put on the end of our forks. The first step is a deep knowledge that food is the root cause of our health, good or bad. What we eat truly matters and knowing that chronic disease need not be our inevitable future is a new concept for so many of us. Pills do not heal disease. Food can and does. Plant foods. That decision is entirely in our hands and on our lips.
The hallmark of unhealthy, disease-causing food addiction is the crossroads of fat, salt and sugar. Nowhere in nature does fat, salt and sugar occur in a food. It’s the processing and cultivating of hyper palatable foods that create the magical symphony that lights up our brains and taste buds. Fast foods are the poster children of food obsession, and what do we crave when we are depressed, celebrating, lonely, joyous? Broccoli? Spinach?
Foods with fat, salt and sugar, like cake, chips, cheeseburgers, cookies or ice cream hit those notes in our brain that create the same comforting feeling and exuberance as any other addictive chemical. In other words, it controls us.
My only point here is awareness, not judgment. We all live in this food world together and I hope to help you navigate better choices, at least some (or most?) of the time. It’s my goal, as well…progress not perfection.
As a major “foodie” who loves to cook and eat (and eat out), I come from the trenches to say you can eat deliciously while maintaining or regaining health and vitality by choosing foods that will sing you a victory song. Great, even better, food choices don’t have to be boring, tasteless or expensive!
Consider this your “pre-meal” safety instruction before takeoff! Choose whole plant foods that are full of absolutely everything that keeps us well and healthy. Choose colorful vegetables and fruits, hearty starches, beans and whole grains topped with herbs, spices and easy, flavor-packed, low-fat sauces to jazz up your fork and your life! Take animal products and oils off your plate as often as you can, and watch the exciting changes unfold.
I’ve been on this journey for over five years and can help you do this, simply and easily. I love to see lives revitalized and energy restored by the power of simple, amazing plant foods, while still enjoying every moment of this food-obsessed world! I believe in wildly delicious living every moment, and for our entire, long and healthy lives.
True confession time…while I may be able to pass up Popeye’s Fried Chicken, chocolate covered donuts at work and American Dream Cone Ben & Jerry’s, but I still can not pass up a glass of wine or a tasty gin cocktail. We all pick our poisons, but let’s be aware of the repercussions of our choices so we can make them count! Sermon over.