Friday, March 30, 2012

The Gospel of Food

It all began one late November morning last year. To be exact, it was Saturday, November 26th, 2011, and I will never forget it, for this is the day that catapulted me into a new lifestyle, dare I say 'diet'—one that will last a lifetime. This experience was life changing, revolutionary, a change for the better, and I will tell you all about it, but first... a little background.

You might be thinking "Ok, it's another foodie blogging about cooking (and why on earth is she saying evangelizing?)" but, in reality, that is not the case, that is, I'm not a foodie. "That's strange," you might say, and indeed, it is strange, as I grew up never having much of an interest in food. I ate to live, and it didn't matter what it was—hamburgers, pizza, tacos, you name it—I ignored any negative claims about its nutritious content or lack thereof. First of all, I was rarely tempted to over-eat and I believed in the saying "all things in moderation." Second of all, I grew up Christian and we prayed for our food. I trusted God was keeping me safe from all harm, and yes, He did, but at the same time, I wasn't being a good steward of the resources and knowledge to which I had access. I kept my ears closed on purpose because I didn't want to know the harm that could potentially come to my body.

"We're all going to die someday" I said. I figured we'd never know what killed us in the end anyway, so why care about it now? But most importantly (and I want to draw attention to this) I didn't know who to trust to give me the correct answer. I knew the world was inherently bad and there were too many lying greedy people in the world, so much that I preferred to be apathetic if I didn't know which side was right. (You better believe that if I ever found out the truth about something, though, I'd become evangelical. I'll go to the grave fighting for truth.) But when you grow up hearing "this new study says coffee is harmful to your body" and then later you hear "this new study confirms coffee is actually very healthy for you," how do you know what to believe? I just thought, "I'd rather not hear any of that so that I don't have to know," and that was my opinion for a very long time. It also didn't help that I was slim with a high metabolism, and since being slim connoted "healthy" to society and doctors, I never had reason to believe I needed a solution since I didn't have a problem.

One thing I was, though, was picky, and I still am. I think I will always hate gristle in my meat, and you will find me still eating when everyone is done because it takes me most of the meal just to cut away the gristle or take out the onions (because I dislike them as well). Being that I was so picky, and eating was such an effort growing up, I became very bored with eating quite quickly. The full plate my mom would serve me would go back to her nearly full, and then she'd yell at me for eating like a bird. People thought it was strange when I'd say "I get bored with my food." As I grew older and I moved out of the house, I rarely cooked for myself. I wasn't, first of all, fond of food, and second of all, I hated all the effort of making the food, eating it, getting bored with it, then cleaning up the kitchen afterward. Sadly, I was lazy, and I found the easy way out. I ate out, and like many others, I was blissfully unaware of all the atrocious things in our food because, again, I didn't want to know. Isn't ignorance bliss?

My younger sister, April, on the other hand, has been a foodie since birth. She has always appreciated food, and because of that, she enjoys cooking, watching the food channel, and inventing her own recipes. (I've actually learned to appreciate good food because of her and other foodies around me.) April has even blogged about cooking! Several years ago, in an effort to be more healthy, fit, and trim, she hired a personal trainer and started paying more attention to what she ate. Long story short, she has changed her lifestyle (yes, diet) for the better, and this is kind of where the story begins.

It was a beautiful November morning, and I was having breakfast at the home of my sister April, and her husband, Raf. Eggs, bacon, and sausage, mmm... but it wasn't long before April and Raf were up to their usual discussion—one where his engineering mind seeks to scientifically understand the conclusion that April's engineering mind has already decided is valid. It's cute, really, and kind of funny. Nevertheless, it is the topic they were discussing that I'd like to draw attention to, for it is this very topic that began my journey to enlightenment.

The topic of discussion was in regards to a "food" documentary that April had just watched. She had mentioned it a couple of times that morning, but I dismissed it as unimportant because, again, my "blissfully unaware" mind tends to prefer ignorance. That's why, at first, I listened to their discussion merely for the entertainment factor—as I find it amusing listening to April logically prove her point while Raf attempts to exercise the scientific method on her "hypothesis." But as she got more frustrated with his pointed questions, she found she could not explain them as well as the documentary, so even though I insisted she forget it, she grabbed her laptop and brought it to the kitchen island to show us the clip in the movie that explained her point.

As I watched the clip, I was astounded. I could not believe my ears. After seeing that, I could never be on the fence about food anymore; I had heard the other side! I could no longer be blissfully unaware. That day, I went straight home and I watched the entire documentary. Immediately, I drafted an email with some notes I jotted down, and I sent it to all my siblings telling them the importance of watching this documentary. The ensuing events are things I will never forget, and I promise, you will soon hear of them.

I am no longer that little blissfully unaware lass. I'm still picky, but I'm older and hopefully wiser. I have learned to keep my mind open, and most importantly, the importance of "the other side of the story." I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I'd ever blog, let alone about food, but here it is. I am not ashamed to say I've become an evangelist about the "Gospel of Food and Other Natural Remedies," and this is precisely what this blog will be about. I hope to enlighten others as I was enlightened. Yes I will be opinionated, and I apologize if you don't agree.

Now, you might be tempted to think that my main topic will center around avoiding processed foods, but that's not entirely the topic (although it is an important one). The topics I will discuss begin with a revolutionary concept that only a few months ago came to my knowledge. The topic in itself is not in reality revolutionary at all because it was something that was common knowledge only a century ago. Unfortunately, today it is very controversial, and I warn you that you too will be tempted to doubt it, but that is precisely why I have chosen to write about it.  Rarely anyone talks about it, very few people know about it, and I haven't stopped talking about it since I heard of it. That is why I have chosen to call myself the "NaturEvangelist"—the one who brings the good news about food and natural remedies for curing ailments.

Stay tuned...

Update: 25 August 2012
I want to point out that I use the word "diet" throughout this blog, but for the most part, I do not use it in the context of something short-lived. For me, the definition of diet is an organism's regular dietary nutrition. For example, the diet of a great white shark is fresh meat.

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