I used to eat like ????. I’m talking fast food every day, nothing green… ever, deep fried chicken with buttered bread, multiple fast food burgers at a time, I would get a strawberry, chocolate, and caramel Sundae at the same time so you know I had (Sparkles) variety (sparkles)… Fast forward to today and I am probably the healthiest eating 21 year old in the history of the universe. You would have to hold me down with 3 men and have a fourth to hold my mouth open to try and shove a single candy bar down my throat… So what changed?

For me personally, it was my mother’s breast cancer. The fear of losing her before I could buy a beer was an earth shattering experience. Combine that with the fact that my brother, grandmother, and great grandfather all had had some type of cancer before; the shocking reality of how at risk, and quite honestly on b line towards developing some type of cancer I was, caused some deep changes within me on how I viewed my day-to-day life and really drove me to pursue a healthier lifestyle.

We all are human, and while I knew from a factual standpoint that the habitual choices of what I chose to build my body out of were not the ideal, duh. However, the emotional realization of how much self-harm through diet I was committing on a daily basis hadn’t actually hit me. My mother’s cancer was the catalyst, the final straw, which made reality hit me harder in the face than the kickball did in 4th grade.

If you, as a human, have not yet gotten the deep emotional drive and absolute yearning to eat as disciplined and healthy of a diet as you can, then I want to congratulate you on how fortunate you are and how lucky you have been to have not yet faced the eventual consequences of your small daily actions. If you are willing to make serious changes to your habits without a sudden wakeup call, then I truly do congratulate you. You will have accomplished something that I would have never done, and I do applaud you for that. With that kind of incredible rational control over your life you must be up to great and amazing things, as well as have some incredible achievements in your future and I can’t wait to see it. Seriously!

For the rest of us mortals, if the wakeup call hasn’t come yet, don’t worry it will. When it one day does, again do not worry because there are plenty of people like myself who have been there and are still here to help. For those of you actively looking for help and guidance, here it is. Here are my personal little secrets to eating a diet that makes me feel amazing, all the time, and will until the day I die. Which without any tragic accidents (knock on wood) is set to be a long… long ways away.

Jumping right into it with my biggest secret for eating healthy, I’m giving you the best stuff first. This is a phenomenon that I rarely hear people talking about in a professional health-promoting environment, but it is very real, and extraordinarily powerful. This is the true secret to my apparent “amazing self-discipline” when it comes to my dietary choices. The secret is that when I eat food, I no longer am focused on how it tastes at all; all I focus on is how I will feel in the hours, days, and years after I eat it. I no longer value how the food tastes; I would rather feel good all the time from eating healthy than just for the little bit of each day that I spend with calories in my mouth… The results are the utopia of nutrition. I swear without me even being aware of it I have totally rewired my taste buds to be sensing the food not for how “tasty” it is, but for how good I will feel after eating it. Oh my goodness it is awesome.

My inspiration for writing this piece came last night after I was at home snacking on some fresh organic blueberries from the grocery store (I absolutely hated blueberries growing up). THEY WERE AMAZING. I mean seriously they “tasted” better than any candy, any pie, any deep-fried chocolate covered whip cream on top you know what I’ve ever had. The natural sugars and fresh nutrients in the blueberries were delectable and once I had my filling there were zero cravings at all. COOL right?! It’s amazing how big of an impact a simple little change of focus can have.

Now that you know my big secret, the cat is out of the bag, I just want you to know that I still have some incredibly valuable tips to share with you that will make you implement and stick with your healthy diet and support you in changing your focus around food.

So to start off I have a simple question for you:

“Where does a tree get its mass?”

Stop. Think about it, get an actual answer in your head. Don’t worry there’s no pressure; this is purely for you to get the best result from this exercise. Is it from the earth? The water? The nutrients in the soil? The answer might surprise you; it sure startled my brain when I first learned about it. The answer is… the air. Trees, those big tall huge green things, are made of carbon that they get from the carbon dioxide in the AIR. They don’t just breathe in the carbon dioxide we breathe out; they are flat out made of the stuff. That is why air quality is so important for trees, it’s their food. The reason I share this is so that we can then think of what we are made of. This is something you already know; we are made of the food we eat. Look at your hand, every single cell in your hand is made completely out of the things you have eaten. Every single inch of you is the burgers or blueberries that you have eaten turned into flesh, blood, and bone by your body. Your body is the only home you are in forever, you never leave it. And like the three little piggies do you want to live in a house made of straw, sticks, or brick. The choice is yours every single time you eat. Every time you eat you are simply eating your body of the future.

Lastly you need to know what the bricks of your diet are, and as much as I would love to have someone size fits all answer for you. I simply don’t. Everyone is different and unique, and no one has experienced the exact same dietary struggles you have. My best advice is that you keep learning like you are right now, fall in love with the journey of health, keep on keeping on, and never stop learning about the bricks vs straw of building the forever home of your body. I strongly recommend you take charge of your own personal journey to learn yourself and meet with qualified professionals to figure out the absolute best course of action for you. However, for the time being and immediate future, there are some things that we all can benefit from, and that is simply eating more organic fruits and vegetables, and grass-fed meat. (Wild meat is the best however this can be hard to find, jump on it when you get the opportunity).

Understand the importance your diet has in your life, be mindful of how eating different foods make you feel, and never stop learning new ways to grow and improve your life in and outside of health. That is my secret to eating truly a marvelous diet.