I have recently had some new inspiration when it comes to health. Inspired by my extraordinary fatigue from the burn out from working and 3 years of grad school, I realized I was not going to make it to graduation next year if something in my life didn't change. I started taking a close look at my nutritional choices. I started looking for answers in my food, which is where I believe everyone should look first when it comes to health. I started watching nutrition documentaries like crazy. I have recently seen, Forks Over Knives, The Weight of a Nation (HBO), Food Matters, Sick, Fat, And Nearly Dead, and The Disappearing Bees. I have always thought I ate pretty healthy, but the more I learn about health and nutrition, the more I realize I have areas where I can definitely improve.

First off, I was a Diet Coke ADDICT. I knew it was poisonous and has been connected with everything from M.S. to Gulf War Syndrome to Cancer, but I still drank it. It turns into a similar chemical to formaldehyde once inside the body, if you want to read some research, check this article out. It contains two sources at the bottom for further investigation . After debating with myself and the advent of natural soda made with Stevia, I quit drinking diet soda. For two straight weeks I had serious body aches, neck pain, and flu like symptome (no fever, and it wasn"t the flu). I also could "smell" my body detoxing. It wasn't from lack of caffeine because I was still drinking coffee, tea, and "natural" soda. Now my goal is to quit drinking all soda by the end of the summer.

My second area I needed to change was/is a lack of breakfast. It is a work in progress that I struggle with daily, but after watching "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead," I may have found my solution. I have started juicing. I didn't know what juicer to buy, so I did a ton of research and reead reviews and finally decided that for my purposes the Breville Plus Juice Fountain . I am very happy I did. How else can I consume 2 beets, 2 carrots, 2 apples, 3 stocks of celery, and beet greens all in one setting? That was my most recent juice and it was delicious. I could never eat that amount of veges in one day, much less one setting. I am feeling better and better. I know I know, we have been taught that juice is empty calories and will add to our weight gain, which is true with PROCESSED JUICE!!!!

The juice you buy at the store is usually pasteurized at a HIGH HEAT destroying not only bacteria, but all of the nutrients and vitamins leaving only orange flavored sugar water. I am in the camp that fresh juice acts on the body in a VERY DIFFERENT way than pasteurized juice. We may not quite understand it yet, but I believe it has something to do with our body recognizing the MICROnutrients lost in processed juice, plus the vitamis and MACROnutrients entering our body from the fresh juice. If it were true that juice could make us FAT just by drinking it, then many flexitarians, vegetarians, vegans, and raw foodests would be obese, but most ARE NOT!!!!! They eat mostly fruits and veges and very little meat. Yes, meat has caloric density, but I do not think that it is responsible for the obesity epidemic; anyone REMEMBER the HORRIBLE Atkins Diet? People weren't obese, they had a plethora of other health problems (heart disease, kidney failure, ect), but rarely obesity. This leads me to believe that there are allot of secrets in micronutrients that we don't quite understand yet. It may be they offer a certain amount of protection in our body from fat collection and build up because the body recognizes we are not in a time of famine (if we are consuming tons of fruits and veges, then how could there be famine). We are just beginning to understand and study the protective nature of food. Fresh juice doesn't kill or break down micronutrients. I think we'll see more research in this area in the future.

I have not become a vegetarian. I have always been a flexitarian, eating more fruits and veges than meat, I am just adding to my consumption of healthy nutrients. I will keep everyone posted as I move further along my road to health and learn more. My recommendation is for Americans to start educating themselves about what they put in their mouth and learn where their food comes from. Small changes really do add up to big ones. One day soon, Insha'Allah, I will post my journey on this blog demostrating that.

For now, I strongly recommend that you watch the above documentaries. You have nothing to loose. Maybe you will learn a few things about your health and body and you can be a couch potato while doing it on your day off. What better way to learn about health,lol? or if you're motivated over summer vacation, read the books (i read too much for school, so the documentaries work for me:). I wish you all happiness and health.