I loved McDonalds and consumed an unimaginable number of Chicken McNuggets. I ate hamburgers, hotdogs, pizza and was a fan of all starchy foods, french fries, pastas and breads. I also ate as much candy, chocolate and other junk food as I could get my hands on. I’d come home from school and down a six-pack of coca-cola and a pound bag of Doritos and then complain at dinner that I did not feel well. There was practically no true nourishment in the foods I ate.
I had a lot of colds and flus as a kid and regular bouts with Strep Throat and Bronchitis. I took a ton of antibiotics to combat all this sickness. I also had monumental migraine headaches. I missed a lot of school, could not sit still or concentrate, was anxious and hyperactive.
Strangely, neither my parents nor I had made the connection between what I ate and how I was feeling and behaving. I had no idea that there was a connection between these foods and the health problems of my childhood. I had no inkling that these foods, which made my life hard as a kid, were setting me up for a whopping case of drug addiction as an adult.
When I found recovery, the obsession to use drugs and alcohol was lifted from me. Yet, my diet still had to be cleaned up. Over the years, friends and pioneers such as Dr. Andrew Dattila and David Wolfe would educate and inspire me. I learned how to detoxify, nourish myself and build immunity by regarding food as medicine.
Today, I am healthy and strong with 22 years of continuous recovery. I practice and teach yoga. I meditate and can sit still comfortably for quite some time. I eat very well – a ton of organic fruits and vegetables, almost no junk food, no sodas.
Unfortunately though, four decades later things have gotten much worse in the world at large. In my day, it was refined sugar. Now kids are being fed a more dangerous, cheaper form of sweetener called high fructose corn syrup. Childhood obesity and Type 2 Diabetes have become epidemics. Here’s a disturbing fact: 50 years ago, the average American consumed about 20 lbs of sugar and corn sweetener in a year. That number has now risen to over 130 lbs. per year.
We must make the connection between the food we eat and the way we feel. Get this: Our mental and physical health are adversely affected by the overconsumption of SUGAR.
Do not miss this brilliant video that my friend, Richard Haase, turned me onto today. My hat is off to Simone Bridges and the folks at Bigger Picture Project. This video is nothing short of brilliant and right to the point.
With regards to your diet, I am sending you my heartfelt wishes for a slightly less sweet 2014.