As a kid, we had a visit by a very wise lady from Europe. Always inquisitive, I peppered her with questions about life back in her home country. That's when the real change started. She happened to be an advocate of healthy organic foods as well as the homesteading/DIY/self-sufficiency movement. This amazing woman taught me so much about expanding my mind and exploring new possibilities in the week that she stayed with us. It's incredible when a person steps into your life and leaves a lasting impression that alters your thinking in a good way. That, dear friends, is where I was first exposed to the momentous delicacy known as yogurt.
And boy was she pushing it...
This woman was hardcore. The stuff looked disgusting and the spoonful offered to me was the OG: plain yogurt. One taste of that and I was done. However, I did sit around and listen to her for hours about the health benefits involved in this new dish. Sharing with me that a huge percentage of the immune system is in our guts, she suggested that I start with a flavored yogurt, then work my way down to vanilla, and then on to plain. After she left, I put my thirsty mind to work learning all about this new lifestyle. It ended up changing me for the better...
Starting small, I first began replacing the regular milk in my breakfast cereal, with acidophilus milk. Little changes add up, right? We had really bad tap water at home, so I went from: tap>spring>purified>distilled water. Then began my first forays into organic foods. Organic yam, sweet potato and banana were added to the diet, people thought I was shopping for my mom, but since I couldn't convince the family to go along with me, it was just for myself.
I started a trail of: ice cream>frozen yogurt>yogurt, soda>juice>distilled water with a spray of fruit, coffee>organic herbal tea. After learning about how they affected the body, I started removing all artificial sweeteners from my diet. No more NutraSweet, aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), etc. Surprised that decaf coffee contains small amounts of caffeine, I found that flavorful teas were better for me and began to watch those trips to Dunkin Donuts!. Since my family lacked much in the form of resources, she covered supplements and their contribution to overall health. My diet was altered gradually, to avoid sudden shocks to the system. This all happened in the nick of time as my life was about to change once again.
The mother of them all
I came down with the flu. Which was surprising, because I rarely got it. But this was no ordinary garden variety flu, this was an affliction for the ages. I've never been this sick in my entire life. It manifested itself in nausea like I've never felt before along with many trips to the bathroom. The highest fever ever recorded by me and dizziness at the slightest motion which left me bedridden, while suffering from the chills. Boy, lemme tell you about them chills. They began at the soles of my feet, and my entire body would tremble all the way up to my head. This would happen roughly every ten minutes, which interrupted my sleeping and left me feeling totally exhausted.
As a teen, I was at my Grandmothers house, and when my mom was informed, she refused to believe that I was that sick. Back to me in bed, imagine every little movement causing the room to spin around. I'd close my eyes in order to try and stop it, yet when I opened them again I was still turning swiftly as if I were floating in the water above a sink drain. Food lost it's natural taste and smell, everything tasted like metal and electricity and smelled that way as well, so I had no appetite. Eating eggs for instance, was like biting into fools gold. Eventually, I got so weak I couldn't make it to the bathroom downstairs, so they brought the bathroom to me. Unable to convince mom that I was really ill, she refused permission for me to get any medical assistance at all.
After three long days, I could no longer take lying in bed and was moved to the living room floor to combat the motion-sickness. I also asked the adults if they could legally kill me as I'd gone three days without sleep and wanted the misery to end. Knowing I wasn't serious, they laughingly refused, and just as my Grandmother was about to ignore my mother's admonition that I was faking and rush me to the hospital, the fever began to break.
Two days later, I was heading back to normal.
I got the flu only once more while in the Navy, and then never again. Medical professionals have said that it's possible that since I didn't get treatment back then, my body had to fight off the flu on it's own and the ordeal may have built up some protection for me. That, combined with any possible genetic quirks and the adoption of a healthy diet, may all have worked in my favor.
When the student is ready...
I'm thankful to that wise European lady for giving me the tools to make better choices for a healthy life. The important thing I realized is that knowledge is power and none of this had to be done overnight. I did my due diligence and found out she was right. Applying these lessons has improved my quality of life, and I hope this post inspires you to do the same. If you've found value in what I've shared, please leave a comment below. What life lessons have you added to your health toolkit? Have you had that special someone, enter your life and change it for the better? Share with us and remember to live every day to the fullest! :)
Thank You so Much!
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