and why I am passionate about health and nutrition!
There’s the HEALTH side to it and the FEELING SEXY side to it! We all want good health, but let’s face it! If it was UNhealthy to have a hot body, we’d probably STILL all want it! But lucky for US, having a great-looking bod probably means you’re somewhat on a healthy track nutrition-wise! And eating healthy and making the right food choices, will most likely yield you the results you’re looking for!
Being in shape is crucial to my career fronting a rock band. The energy that I expend at one gig on average is the equivalent to running 5 miles. (I’ve measured this with a pedometer). Our band in particular is known for the high energy that we bring to each show. Regardless of how I’m feeling that day, my nutrition better be spot on because I am working out that evening on stage! It’s important that I feel (and look) my best! I’ve been approached by so many people asking me what my secret is. My secret is that I’m educated, having read every book I can possibly get my hands on, in search of feeling my absolute best and enjoying optimal health, now and for all my years.
Growing up, I had clear examples of what didn’t work and how I didn’t want to end up. Yes, looking good is definitely important to me and I would be lying if I said I didn’t INITIALLY (years ago) set out for that vain purpose alone. As a child, my diet consisted of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. I was constantly sick with strep throat and sinus issues. Even having my tonsils out didn’t quiet my respiratory ills that continued to plague me. Over the years, with age and maturity, I’ve come to value being healthy as far more important than the pursuit of looking hot. But how wonderful it would be if we could have BOTH! I am so blessed with TONS of energy and great health, and what I put into my body has everything to do with it!
First, for my background – and I’m known for rambling so buckle your seatbelts!
At 13 years old, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. My mother, whose diet consisted of a candy bar and a coke each day before bed, was my hero! A brilliant lawyer, women’s activist and writer – yet she didn’t know (and back then few people did) that her diet was making her sick. My mother, who would often bribe me with money to eat a piece of broccoli, wouldn’t be caught dead with a vegetable on her plate. Here I was at 13 years old faced with one of the biggest fears a child could face; the fear of losing a parent.
Thank god after a mastectomy and many years and several thousands of candy bars later, I still had my mother. Although she seemed to lack in energy from this point on, she was considered ‘cured’ of her cancer. She continued to do amazing things and LIVE THE LIFE – yet she always struggled with lack of energy and health. She was always thin (and SO beautiful!) and no doctor ever thought to look at her nutrition at any point for any reason. It was frustrating to watch my mother struggle and suffer so much. Years later my mother was once again diagnosed with cancer, but this time it had metastasized into her bones.
By this time, I was in my late twenties, newly married and obsessed, from a very vain standpoint, with nutrition and diet. I was in constant search for the perfect diet that would yield me the perfect body. I am going to spare you many years of boringness and just get to the good part!
In the years that my mother lived with bone cancer, NEVER did anyone look at her diet. As her tumor number markers crept up, we all feared the worst.
During this time, I had some stomach issues that had me avoiding dairy. I also happened to be going thru a phase where meat grossed me out (which was a recurring theme throughout my life, on and off). During the time that I was off of meat and dairy, people would ask if I was vegan (I wasn’t) and suggest all types of books for me to read. After hearing for the umpteenth time that I needed to read The China Study, I finally read the book! That book led me to read Forks Over Knives (I then got the DVD and made everyone I know watch it, changing the diets of most of my close friends and families), then Eat To Live and so many more that I cannot even begin to name! Needless to say, I WAS SOLD! I was convinced that my mother needed to try a vegan diet and get off of sugar! Once I got my three older sisters on board, we were able to convince her to give it a try. For the first time in a very long time when her tumor marker numbers were going up and up, her numbers finally began to slowly come down! It was amazing! Look what nourishing your cells thru food can do to your body!
Unfortunately after several months, my mom would say “I’m just going to go off of my vegan and eat a little chicken”. It started off being cute “momness” things to say, but it soon was more and more frequent until she was no longer vegan. Her numbers began to climb. Her treatments became more severe to try to stop the spread. At one point, she moved in with me while my father traveled. During this time, she was in MY control! She was bed-bound so her nutrition was in my hands. Each morning I’d make her a smoothie that she thought was ice-cream and berries. What I was making her were pea-protein smoothies with organic frozen berries and handfuls of kale and spinach. Again, she started to regain her health. This is a woman who never ate veggies and had to have her candy bars daily. (I hid all of her candy bars!) Her tumor marker numbers were always a direct correlation to her diet and I watched this first-hand, front row seat! But I couldn’t control this stubborn woman for long and she lost her battle with cancer in June of last year (2013).
It kills me that I couldn’t save my mother. Fortunately, we know a lot more now today and not many people need convincing that diet has everything to do with your health, how you feel, your weight, your skin, your moods, your FUTURE health, how you live your later years, EVERYTHING!
Knowledge and discipline are all we need in order to keep ourselves and our families safe and healthy! My goal has been to acquire as much nutritional knowledge as possible in order to help others (and myself) to feel and be (and in turn, LOOK) their very best, in order to get the most bang for your buck out of life!