When the 4th of July marks new beginnings!
by the site’s Founder
As many say, life is unpredictable… full of surprises! Sometimes those surprises are pleasant, and some other times a bit annoying, especially when they have to do with… fireworks. You may be wondering now how a supposedly joyous holiday can turn into an annoying evening event. When I tell you that it is also related to food (and knowing I am a personal trainer), you will probably think of the barbecues and delicious food of that big day. But, it’s not exactly that… I have no problem with that at all. What is better than seeing families and friends gathering together to celebrate an important day around the table? Eating a bit more than usual and committing a few “nutritional sins” is not a bad thing. After all, I have always loved the “everything in moderation” that prevents from the edges. (Although that saying is debatable according to some people).
That day seemed promising from early in the morning. I had nothing planned, and for the first time after so long, I had more free time to relax and enjoy the fireworks from my apartment. I could have some good views that holiday after many years of living in a basement. I could now see the fireworks in the distance lighting up the sky from different locations in Queens but also in Manhattan and some other areas. What went wrong? I made the mistake of watching a movie. To be precise, a documentary.
For the last few years, I had avoided meat because I love animals. A voice inside me told me that I’d better not eat it. So, I on and off enjoyed a vegetarian diet and loved it. At some point, two good friends, Lisa Fiorentinos and Enrica Sacca suggested that I should see what a whole food plant-based diet feels like. We had a fascinating talk about dairy and how it affects our health. So, I started a whole food plant-based diet for a few weeks and loved it as well. I did not feel deprived of any food. We should never embrace a diet if we don’t love it unless there are serious health issues. Life is to be enjoyed! I knew, though, that a whole food plant-based diet leads to better health and reverses some diseases. So why not give it a try? The “problem” was that I decided to watch the popular old documentary “Forks over knives” that evening. I had not watched it, and I thought that the day was perfect for doing so. The annoying thing was that when I was in the middle of the film, the fireworks started their party… That was the surprise. I knew there would be celebrations around the city, but I did not expect any right outside the building. Oh my! The once festive sound of the fireworks and the colors painting the sky were now getting on my nerves. I was so absorbed by the documentary… Unfortunately, I did not have my earbuds with me. So, I could barely listen to it from my cellphone. Hard as I tried, I couldn’t. People in the neighborhood were celebrating; the sky turned into a canvas with any color you can imagine. The sound was deafening. Suddenly it hit me! The bathroom… Oh, yes! I should go to the bathroom, the only quiet place in the apartment. What a funny thing… I sat in there, sweating waterfalls due to the hot weather that night, but I could finally finish the documentary. That was all that mattered at the time.
It made me skeptical… Two prominent scientists have proved that meat, dairy, etc. are not as good as we think, but we keep consuming them. They have strong evidence that milk does not help us have strong bones but the opposite, and we still drink it.
I got out of the bathroom, still sweating, not only from the hot weather now but also from boiling inside me. How could that be…? I stood by the balcony door, watching the fireworks that kept lighting up New York. It was like those fireworks had just marked a new beginning for me. Not that I should embrace a whole food plant-based diet blindly, but to welcome it in my life and see how it feels over time…to read more about it.
When we hear for the first time about something groundbreaking, we often get excited. We should take time, though, to see the matter from all angles. But, I felt embarrassed that I had not watched that documentary earlier. It was released in 2011. How could that be? Which planet had I lived on until then? Anyway, that film made me want to research more. I always do that, and I always try to keep up with science. I love anything new that helps us live healthier lives. However, since I watched the documentary, that desire has grown. Whether you start a vegetarian, vegan, or whole food plant-based diet is totally up to you. After all, I am experimenting with it as it needs very little or no use of oils, meaning reducing or eliminating my beloved olive oil. I cannot have the whole picture of it yet (though it’s a whole food diet…) I will be able to know better after a few years. I know for sure that the 4th of July that year gave me a gentle slap in the face, reminding me that we should keep learning for life… The independence day helped me be more independent because I took more steps toward a life with hopefully fewer health issues and doctor visits. Isn’t it what all people would love?