You can frequently find me wandering through the local farmers’ market, hiking out in nature or swimming in the ocean. I love anything related to health, well-being and mindfulness, but my journey to embracing this lifestyle did not happen overnight. The first time I began to understand the magical powers of eating healthy was my senior year of high school when a teacher showed us a clip from the acclaimed documentary “Forks Over Knives.” I went home and watched the rest of the film on my own and continued to educate myself on the baffling reality that healthy, whole foods have super powers, and that food is medicine.
My mother studied nutrition in college, so growing up, my family dinner table was always stocked with fresh fruits and loaded salads, and my snack drawer was filled with granola bars, dried fruit and trail mixes. I definitely had a strong foundation for a healthy diet, but that did not shield me from the inevitable impact of mainstream media where females are encouraged to live up to an unrealistic image of beauty. As a teenager, I began to believe the only way to achieve a thin body was to restrict my calories and follow various fad diets. I lost weight but felt lethargic all the time, my skin was dry and my hair was brittle. I was far from thriving and learned these diet trends were not sustainable long term.