I feel like to really be the healthiest you, deserves that same amount of research, years and analysis as a PHD. I am somewhere on a Master level, hoping to arrive one day to a “PHD” or even better graduate with a diploma of total “Health Discovery and Awareness.”
When I created the blog, I thought no one wants to hear about my random finds about health, nutrition and the sags of my own health journey. Then I realised that what I was doing was keeping the information I found in a resource tank “my brain” that only I could access and that is so not my style. I am a giver by nature, so as the French would say, “Bon.” I am going to share!
So, I mentioned my health battle last year, but that was not the start of the journey. I will take you back to my childhood for a second or two. I was born in Jamaica to two awesome “Agriculturally Raised Parents.” If any of your parents where raised on a farm, you already know where I am going with this.
My parents ate two square meals a day, sometimes three, if their day allowed it. What is a square meal? Agricultural families know this well! This is a meal fit for Queens and kings! The is usually no room left on the plate and the food often resembles a little Kilimanjaro or Himalaya 😉 food mountain. This was great for my parents of course and worked with their lifestyle, as they were burning between 5000 to 10000 calories per day.
Here is a clear example of the day as kids…
My parents started their days as children at 5 a.m. each morning by getting water from the well or from the river that was several miles away, turning the soil on a sizeable farm, tending to the animals who needed their morning meal that required carrying heavy bags of feed from one section of the farm to another far away section of the farm, helping to get the farm organised for the days work and then off to school by 7am by walking 2 to 5 miles to school. Then, they would return mid-afternoon, do some homework and go right back to tending to the needs of the farm (ex. taking animals to feed miles away, cooking meals for a big family, working the soil, sewing clothes, getting more water from the well and walking 2 to 5 miles into town for their parents). As you can see, I have really no idea what a farmer’s life is like…lol but you get my point! My parents never had a sedentary moment in their day. If they had a Fitbit, it would have retired after one year from the inability to count the calories, steps and miles. Clearly, today our Fitbits’ are on a lifetime of vacation.
Here is my point…
My parents just in living their daily lives were able to burn off these Himalyan meals without ever getting on a treadmill or taking a run on the city streets. They were fit and were taught to be active from birth. Even as they began their professional lives: my dad became a high ranking kind of Jamaican FBI agent and my mom an Senior Executive Assistant for a high profile Real Estate Lawyer in Jamaica that never gave her a moment to be sedentary! I am sure both my mom and dad had a six packs until they were in their 30s.
Now lets get back to me being their child and their loving Himalyan meals…
My parents thought they were showing their love by making sure I was WELL feed! So, I ate! I ate and I ate! I was given the same plate size at 6 years old as my 6 foot 2 dad in his 30s. I am only 5’1 now, so you can imagine me at 6 years old. I was told that you must eat all the food you are given! Never leave anything on your plate, so the idea of being full was not an option. Then of course, I was sent off to bed 30 minutes later with my Himalayan tummy!
My relationship with food was clearly off to a bad start. I was sendatary most of my day. I had basic choirs (ex. washing dishes that I often convinced my older sister to do cause she loved me.. eye batting .. with a smile…). I was a kid born in the age of Nintendo, so you know what I did with most of my day! I sat with class, style and only the intention of winning over my boy cousins in Mortal Kombat!
Fast forwarding to my teens, I had my first job at 12…
Yes, 12! I made 200 dollars a week selling clothes for a family friend on the weekend in her boutique! I was now 90% American and 10% Jamaican in my eating habits. I was all about my snacks, treats and junk food. Any Jamaican kid will tell you, the idea of asking for snacks, treats or junk to your Jamaican parents will immediately result in a “NO.” The idea of buying food from a stranger, snacking or not using natural ingredients, puts Jamaican parents in a state of alarm! Jamaicans make everything at home: cake, juice, meals, treats and even medicine, and when they do buy outside..lol.. it is from another Jamaican who happens to own a shop, but also made everything they sell at home..lol
Let’s fast forward again! Living in New York City! Shout out to all my New Yorkers..
We have 2 things on almost every street. A Chinese Food Restaurant and a Bodega (ex. a mini supermarket packed with candy and junk). Both are open almost all day, cheap and accessible in a few seconds. Then of course, we are never too far from our local pizza spot. So, I did what any 12-year-old earning 200 dollars a week with parents who worked all day would do! I call my friends over, we ate like queens and kings in the middle of the day all the junk our parents denied us and of course, pursued our dreams of conquering the next level of Mario Brothers! Nintendo babies! We chose only the good stuff! Food filled with fat, sugar, mgo, high frutose corn syrup and salt! My mouth is watering now when I think about that General Tso’s Chicken with Spicy Lo Mein or Pork Fried Rice, complimented with a quarter water juice packed with food coloring for all of 25 cents and finished off with a pack of Nowlaters or Chocolate cover Donuts from Dunkin!
Fast forwarding again…
I became the adult and mixed both those bad habits! I worked all day, came home ordered my Chinese Food to be delivery at my door at a Himalyan quantity and then went off to bed 30 minutes later with my Himalyan Friend.
Let us fast forward one more time!
To my mid 20’s, when I started to travel and leave my comfort zone. I learned about vegetarianism. For a Jamaican, this was unheard of! All our dishes are based in the both of some type of animal! I learned that there was such a thing as a serving size and this was not dictated by how much room you had on the plate or how you could manoeuvre moving over your veggies or starchs to fit just one more piece of food. I learned that I needed water beyond survival! Ok, I am making a joke, but you all know what I mean. I learned that they was such a thing as nutrition.
This was the start of me creating a relationship with my body…
One that I will share with you! I will share all that I have learned and hope you will share your health journey with me to. Finally! I love my parents and would not trade them for all the Chinese food or New York sliced Pizza in the world! You can see the depths of my love!
Good by for now Friends,