I’ve never been a good eater. Let me rephrase that because I’m really good at the process of shoving stuff into my mouth. (No jokes, please). I was really good at eating horrible, vitamin-deficient, heart-busting, pore-clogging food. The frozen dinner section at the grocery store had always been my church; I worshiped at the altar of saturated fats, added sugars, barrels of sodium, and artificial flavors. High-fructose corn syrup? Yummy! The ingredients in my less than stellar diet had scientific names. Laboratory DNA. I’m not even sure it should be called food. But I was addicted to it, or I was just lazy. Maybe sad. Maybe sad and lazy topped with a swirl of apathy. Maybe bad food and sweatpants go well together. Or maybe it’s just easy to heat something up in the microwave.
A vegetable was as foreign to me as a woman’s unconditional love. A fruit was a juicy, exotic Rubik’s Cube. Polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats… what? Seriously, WHAT?
Let me go back three months. I quit smoking after 25+ years of lighting up like a junkie. I still can’t believe it to be honest. I loved smoking. It helped with stress and anxiety. It paired well with coffee. It was a crutch. It got me through those dark days, those dark, comatose months. Cigarettes were a friend and a thin, cancerous lover, and I assumed I could never quit. I was wrong. I did the silly New Year’s Eve resolution thing with cigarettes. I ordered a simple vaping pen after days and days of research. One of my few strengths is research. I can spend hours, days, weeks studying something. I must have all the knowledge, all the specifics. The only way to make a proper decision in life is to have as much information as possible. So, I knew the Evod pen was a good starter device. I went to a local vape shop and purchased one along with some e-liquid. E-liquid is basically 4 ingredients: vegetable glycerin, propylene glycol, nicotine, and flavoring. That’s it. Don’t listen to the alarmists, who want you to believe you’re inhaling antifreeze. People are ridiculous and uninformed most times. All I can tell you is vaping has changed my life. I feel completely refreshed. My energy level has increased. I don’t get winded as easily. I don’t smell like an ashtray, and I’m saving money. Vaping has extended my life, there is no doubt in my mind. I’m about as objective of a person as you’ll ever meet and if I thought vaping was truly harmful, I would say so. I’ve researched the hell out of this subject. Countless articles and videos. And yes, I would like to see more studies done about the effects of inhaling vapor. I would like at least some form of regulation applied to the industry. I don’t think vaping should be so readily available to teens. But I also know that vaping has given me a second chance. And it’s led me to eat better.
Once I quit smoking and had hernia surgery, I thought what next? Is it enough to just put down cigarettes? Can I do more for my body and mind? And I felt that quitting smoking without changing my diet was counterproductive. I needed to keep pushing forward. I finally saw a connection between a healthy body and a healthy outlook. I had to shove aside the taunt of my depression, the siren in my head telling me to take the easiest route possible, and make significant strides in regards to the food I put in my system. Well, I did.
I eat a salad every day. Nothing too fancy, arugula and baby spinach topped with organic grape tomatoes and a simple homemade dressing consisting of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. For lunch I typically enjoy a sandwich of canned sardines and guacamole (both are Super foods) between two slices of whole grain, fiber-dense bread. For dinner, I usually go with skinless baked chicken and organic black beans. Sometimes I go with salmon. My sweet tooth is satisfied with a small serving of plain Greek yogurt with fresh strawberries. Breakfast is usually a hard-boiled egg (no salt) and plain oatmeal with fresh blackberries and a drizzle of honey. I even stopped adding sugar to my coffee. Still use it in hot tea, though. I haven’t had a single sip of cola in over two weeks. TWO WEEKS! I drink water with every meal. And I haven’t bought anything from the frozen food section in those same two weeks. Not one damn thing. And the cool part is that I’m enjoying this new diet. Healthy food actually tastes pretty good. Now, I’m not perfect and I’m still learning, and I know to normal eaters my changes are rather pedestrian, but I’m on the right path. And I’m excited about my health for the first time.
In conclusion, believe in yourself. If I can take a different direction with my daily eating habits, anybody can. I was that bad of an eater. And if you suffer from depression, incorporating healthier foods can make a difference in how you feel. It can provide you with enough energy to get off the couch and stroll beneath a friendly sun. And maybe you’ll live a bit longer as well.
People can change their habits. People can change their attitude.
Let go of the person you were and embrace the person you were always meant to be.
It starts today.
See you in the organic vegetable section of the grocery. I’ll be the tall, awkward dude gently squeezing an avocado, pretending that I know what in the hell I’m doing.
The boys are back together and coming to Cincy this summer. A sampling of my favorites below.
Simple, beautiful, and timeless.
This song gets better as it goes and the lyrics are sublime.
From raging thump to soft introspection to raging thump again. Yeah.