The Bag of Potato chips I’m Glad I ate
This photo takes us back to July 2010, on Luke and my honeymoon. Here I am visiting my good friend Stephanie, a raw vegan, on the beautiful island of Kauai. This bench was sitting in view of a breath-taking waterfall, and lush rainforest. This was the life.
At the time, my husband and I were on our health food journey, but didn’t even know it…. Our diet consisted of “humane certified”, organic free-range meats, and organic dairy. We were so dedicated to eating only humane meat that we never ate it if we didn’t cook it at home. So, no fast food meat, no hotdogs, or anything like that. We didn’t even eat meat at our own wedding. Although we ate some organic foods, we were still unhealthy and eating a lot of processed stuff.
The person I was in this photograph didn’t know the health benefits of a vegetarian diet, and thought that meat was needed for optimal health. Now I know of the amazing health benefits of a raw vegan lifestyle, and am living my truths. But, not here… here I was very confused… and I want to share a story that really helped me on my journey.
It all began a few hours earlier at a local Hawaiian Farmer’s marker in Kilauea. Back then, I didn’t appreciate the Farmer’s market, and all of its glory. I actually thought it was boring, and would much rather have been sitting at a restaurant sipping on some iced tea, and eating French fries.
Now, looking back… I was in heaven! The place was loaded with fresh mangos, papaya, surinam cherries, pineapple, banana, and fresh coconuts! I even tried drinking the water out of a fresh coconut, and instead of enjoying it, I said that I “didn’t like it” and gave it to my newly wed husband.
(We took a photo of me with the coconut for the honeymoon scrap book, but truthfully… I remember thinking it was gross. Now? Coconuts are my favorite!)
At some point during the farmers market I was getting hungry. And fruit didn’t seem like “real” food to me…so Luke and I took a short walk to a corner store, and I bought a bag of greasy, salty, potato chips. We walked back to the Farmer’s market, and I ate the chips as we walked around.
Looking back, I realize that I was basically insulting those hard working farmers by eating a bag of potato chips, instead of buying their delicious fruit. But, at the time I was completely ignorant.
So, as I walked around, the farmers kept making comments like “Oh, what you got there, a bag of chips?” “What’s exactly in those things?” “Oh, you like potatoes?” “You don’t like fruit?” And after a while I was starting to get cranky. I was under-carbed, hungry, and feeling judged for eating a bag of potato chips!
As Stephanie, Luke and I were walking back to her place, Steph asked about the potato chips. It seemed like such a strange question to me. Everyone eats potato chips, I thought… it’s normal. But what I didn’t realize was that I crossed the rhelm of what is “normal”. In my small circle of friends/family eating potato chips was “normal”, where as if someone were eating a bowl of fruit for dinner, one might ask, “Why are you eating fruit?”
I’m glad that I was asked “Why are you eating that?” because it was a good question. A question that I never thought of. What do you mean why? Because I was hungry, and potato chips are food. It was what I knew. It was what I was taught.
So, I replied to Stephanie by saying “I was hungry, and just needed some carbs”. To which we began a conversation about food.
I told her how Luke and I ate humane meat, and that eating meat was natural (she most likely didn’t agree with that, but didn’t say anything about it), and she then explained to me that if I was craving carbs, that fruits are actually carbohydrates. That was the first time I heard that. Of course, I didn’t care. I just wanted to eat my bag of potato chips and be left alone.
After a little more chatting, I wasn’t convinced at all that fruit was “real” food. Fruit was something that we ate a few bites of before and after meals. For snacks, for fun, for a little treat… fruit was not a meal. How could it be?
Later that night, Stephanie had me try some of the fruit she bought at the Farmer’s market. For the first time I had mango (yes, I was 22 years old and never tried mango), surinam cherries, and papaya. I liked the mango (kind of), and the surinam cherries. But, I hated the papaya, I remember wanting to spit it out. (Now? You guessed it, I like papaya!)
What Stephanie said to me didn’t resonate with me until much later when I decided to go vegan (for ethical reasons). I thought back to what she said, and it made me feel like she was on to something. But, it didn’t really hit me until years later when (on my own) I realized that a high fruit, high carbohydrate lifestyle was a super healthy lifestyle.
So why did I tell you all of this? Well… because I want you to know I didn’t always eat “healthy”. I didn’t always think that fruit was yummy. I didn’t always enjoy eating fruit, and I chose a bag of chips over fruit.
The way that I *thought* about fruit was interfering with the way that I was eating. I was conditioned to believe that certain things were food, and certain things were snacks. I grew up eating cheese burgers, French fries, chicken nuggets, potatoes, steamed veggies, steak, bread, hotdogs, and the like… so when I got hungry, I learned to look for those things. Fruit was just a snack. And not a tasty one either, so why would I chose that?
It has taken 4 years of progress on my journey to get me to where I am today. I finally think of fruit as REAL, good, food. I no longer look at processed food as “real food”. I actually barely consider it food at all. Sometimes I will take a bite of something processed to see how I feel, and I want to spit it out because it tastes “fake”, or like something I should not be eating.
So, the lesson in the story? The first step in changing your diet is changing your thoughts about food. You won’t get anywhere believing that fruits and vegetables are “yucky” snacks that you eat sometimes, while processed foods are “yummy” “real” foods.
Change your thoughts and change your world!! 🙂