I have to confess that I used to have the worst dietary intake in the world. Well, maybe that’s not quite true but I was certainly no stranger to chocolate bars, fizzy drinks and cream cakes. The fresh fruit and vegetable section of the supermarket was an unknown land to me, as I headed straight to the frozen meals and snacks aisles every time.
The strange thing is that I was never really very overweight, but I carried a few extra pounds and felt weak a lot of the time, as well as having the habit of getting sick far too easily. Ever since I was a kid I have avoided healthy food and it always seemed that the next bout of the common cold or the flu was just around the corner. I thought that eating some yogurts and cereal bars now and then would give me the vitamins and fibre I needed but I ate hardly any fruit or vegetables.
What’s that Green Thing Called?
Things came to a head when I went to stay with some relatives who lived in a small village. The local shop didn’t have all of the tasty treats I was used to but was filled with green things which I had never tried before. I didn’t even know the names of some of the vegetables but when my aunt made a vegetable soup I was amazed at how much I liked it.
I ended up staying there for about 3 months and I couldn’t believe how good I felt when I left there. I never really thought about it being due to the food I had been eating and instead thought that the fresh air and exercise had done me a lot of good. Life in the country seemed suited to me and the food aspect was just one small and rather unimportant part of it in my head.
Back to Old Habits
I hadn’t really missed my chocolates and cakes when I was away from the city. However, when I arrived back home I started stocking up on them again out of habit more than anything else. It felt good to have my supply of sweets on hand again but I was a bit disappointed when I bit into the first one. I had got so used to eating fresh, healthy food that the taste of something packaged and lacking in any vitamins was just bland and sickly sweet.
Nevertheless, I kept on eating the kind of stuff I shouldn’t have done and before long I was back to being overweight and feeling listless and weak again without even realising why. After a while I thought about it and it was clear that my diet was the problem and that it was time to make the change to healthy eating for good. Even my friends and neighbours had noticed that I was paler and sicklier than when I had arrived home from the countryside.
Time to Enter the Kitchen
My mum has never been a good cook so I decided that I would need to learn how to make my own healthy food. I phoned up my aunt and she sent me through a few of her easiest recipes to get me started. I started off with a broccoli oven bake which was incredibly easy to make and left me feeling full of energy.
Since those days I haven’t found any need to go back to my old ways of eating. By cooking healthy meals I feel a lot better and my body thanks me for doing it. It might have taken me a long time and a trip out to a country village to realise it but putting the right kind of fuel into my body has definitely improved my life.