How I Went From a Burger Pounding Booze Hound to a Happy, Healthy (Pseudo) Hippie
Let’s travel back in time to the year 2006. SexyBack by Justin Timberlake was blowing our minds, and you could find me in a bar with my friends slamming double Jagerbombs and cheap beer. For all of those who weren’t in a large university at that time or had no interest in figuring out really stupid ways to punish your liver, Jager bombs consist of a shot of Jagermeister liquor mixed with Red Bull. A true health elixir. After we all got as drunk as possible, it was obviously necessary to mistreat our guts even more by testing the limits of our intestines with greasy, late night food. While half of our group of friends were die-hard Taco Bell eaters, the other half (including me) couldn’t get enough of Apollo’s- a late night gyro place on campus. After waiting in a line out the door with a bunch of other blacked out idiots, I would take my two gyros with no onion out the door and totter (unsafely) home. Sorry, mom! Repeat several times a week. Fill in the other days with packaged convenience foods, cafeteria meals, and candy. My friends and I had no idea how our shenanigans were wrecking our poor bodies!
Fast forward 9 years later. I get up before the sun, warm up some water and add half of a lemon and apple cider vinegar, do my workout of the day, and then mix up a green smoothie (don’t forget the spirulina powder)! I eat chick peas, forego meat, I practice affirmations, and I would rather drink toilet water than a soda. So what happened to the Jager loving, carnivorous, party animal? Well, there were several years during my early twenties where I was still treating by body kind of like a garbage disposal. Lots of chicken wings, fried foods, bacon cheeseburgers, fast food, and frozen dinners (but hey, they were Healthy Choice!) Woof.
My habits really changed when I decided to live in Australia for a year in 2011. One of my friends was living over there and let’s just say he was the opposite of me- laid back, always positive, and was the constant recipient of good fortune. I was normally a hot mess, so I was often jealous and intrigued by his life. On the way to the beach one day, he turned on a CD of a Wayne Dyer lecture. I really resonated with everything Dr. Wayne was saying. So much so that a few months later, this friend and I went on a cruise to hear him give a series of talks. It was during one of these talks that Wayne mentioned how he was a vegetarian because he didn’t want to eat the fear of the animals that they secrete before they die. There was a little ping! that went off in my brain. A sort of “hey dummy, pay attention!” Wayne also recommended a book called “Food Revolution” by John Robbins, and I decided to take action and purchase the book. Little would I know that this book would light a forest fire of interest in me about health, wellness, and how our food choices impact our environment. This carnivorous booze-hound was about to make a herculean transformation because of one important factor I had been neglecting: Education.
I had been living in an ignorant bliss bubble. I went all in researching health. Subjects included food policy, naturopathy, holistic health, positive thinking, self-healing, nutrition, and personal empowerment. I can’t tell you how many times I read something that absolutely boggled my mind. HOW DID I GO SO LONG WITHOUT KNOWING THIS?! It was like my brain was covered in a thick shell of hardened cheese pizza, garlic butter, and Junior Bacon Cheese Burgers, and each book I read was like a pick axe hacking away at my old belief systems. The bad news was that I realized that my college education was basically a waste of time besides making my best friends and having a lot of fun at football games. Oh well, you live and you learn.
Now the cross I bear is hearing lame, redundant vegetarian jokes (Vegetarian- ancient language for the village idiot who can’t hunt or fish. Ha. Ha. Ha.), and having at least one family member incredulously grill me about my eating habits at every gathering. Mostly my protein obsessed, body builder brother. But I just sip on my wheatgrass shot and smile, knowing that they can’t help it. Their brain still has the nacho cheese, Mountain Dew shell sprinkled in Cool Ranch, and they haven’t found their pick axe yet.
hardy har har.
(Image found on Reddit. http://i.imgur.com/vn4Ht.jpg)