Some days, I wish I had realized earlier in life that Nutrition was a real passion for me. But then I remember that who I am today is a direct result of the journey I've traveled so far; so upon re-examination, I wouldn't change a thing. My intention for each day going forward is that I follow my bliss. As you may be able to tell by that last statement, Joseph Campbell has been a great influencer in my life.
I think I'd have to say that my interest in Nutrition started after my first visit to a live blood analyst. A friend of the family had told us that their daughter had received amazing improvements in her Crohn's after following the guidance of one, and I instantly felt that I should get checked out. Other than aches/pains & being overweight, I didn't know what I didn't know, and sought knowledge of my issues and corrective actions. At my first appointment, the individual used iridology and live blood analysis to diagnose issues I had at that time (with uncanny accuracy) and the treatment suggested included supplements and a change in diet. Unknowingly, this was my introduction to Eat for You Blood Type. The basic premise being that your blood type could be used to determine how different foods would react in your system; would they be beneficial (healing), neutral (used for energy), or an avoid (act as a toxin, or cause issues). For the most part, when I stuck to eating the beneficial foods only, losing 80 lbs was accepted as good success... but I didn't find that I had an overall feeling of good health. I felt I should expand my eating choices in case I was missing something, and started introducing more of the neutral foods. It ended up that many of these foods were high carbs, and I found myself gaining weight again, which was the wrong direction of improvement I sought.
After half a decade, I decided to research for a healthier way to eat. Food Combining was the first of the many I'd researched that peaked my interest. The basic premise being that a person needs to consider which digestion path (alkaline/bile or stomach acid) they want to occur before deciding if what they're going to eat is mainly carbs (alkaline/bile digestion) or mainly protein/fats (acid digestion). It was suggested that absorption issues would arise if you mixed high carbs and high proteins in one meal. While I never adopted this style of eating, it did start to build a case in my mind for how "wrong" the Canadian Food Guide, really is... and had completely cemented once I read Denise Minger's post on the history of what influenced today's food guides. What Denise provided me was a needed push towards Raw/Whole Foods.
With my eye's opening, I quickly discovered and switched to eating Paleo. The things that I appreciate the most about Paleo are that it truly is a life style, and its flexible protocols to chose from based on individual goals and/or needs. Other than influencing what I eat, it has changed my sleeping habits, inspired me to make my own personal care products (soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, and toothpaste) to limit my exposure to toxins that can be absorbed by my skin, to transition from cooking with non-stick pots & pans to cast iron, and make probiotics/ferments (water kefir and sauerkraut) to ensure the natural flora in my intestines is maintained; to name just a few. It is because of this broad scope of influences, that I feel it is best to say that I am now on a Health & Nutrition Journey.
Thanks to the many influences of Paleo, I have dropped to 245 lbs (60 lbs more loss than I had on the Blood Type Diet, for a total loss of at least 150 lbs), I have stopped using my CPAP because of Sleep Apnea, my sense of taste is renewed now that my body is no longer desensitized by damaging processed foods, I have an overall feeling of good health, and can feel/see the impacts to my body when I "cheat".
Many friends, family, and co-workers have been inspired enough by my end results to work with me to make positive changes in their lives as well. Improved sense of well being, never knowing their bodies could feel so good, elimination of joint pain, and weight loss are only a few of the inspiring stories/testimonials that they have shared with me. It was these moments that clued me into the fact that my bliss was staring me in the face.
I love to ask "why"; it's in my nature to want to understand something I'm interested in as deeply as I can. I could simply choose to "have faith" in the compiled knowledge of others that I have collected up to this point, but I'd rather put myself into a position of "knowing" the human body and how it's health is impacted by what nutrition we put into it. I want to be in a position where I can knowingly agree, disagree, or dive deeper into a Health & Nutrition topic. For example, I want to understand what makes food choices like Paleo suggests work, and to be in a position to confidently make adjustments or improve upon it... if possible.
It's pretty incredible to have helped so many people (including myself) while relying on the compiled knowledge of others up to this point, and I believe that tells me that I am on the right track. Looking forward to continuing helping people as my new career; once I have completed my course in Wholistic Nutrition.
One day soon we will meet, where I will be your Wholistic Nutritionist!