Growing up in Mexico, I wasn’t conscious of the food my family would put on the table. I only knew I had to make sure to finish my plate, which, at that time my family had the Mexican staple diet revolving around corn, meat, rice, and lots of soups. It wasn’t until I moved to Boston for school that my nutrition was entirely up to me.
I feel like being on your own strengthens your self-awareness, which in my case, was even more heightened by the fact that I didn’t know a soul when I first made my move. New environment, new people, new everything—including new diet.
I had carried over my vegetarian diet from my junior year in high school, inspired by the multiple documentaries and videos I ran into (Meet Your Meat, anyone?). As I kept eating my way through dormitory cafeterias, nights out dinning, and brunches, I realized I wasn’t feeling well—emotionally-well, that is.
I started having low energy, stomach problems, mood swings, you name it! However, I was willing to find the culprit. I signed up for a nutrition class as an elective to learn more about how the food affected the body. After all, it wasn’t for my looks that I was curious about nutrition, but my emotional state as well.
I feel like because of social media, becoming aware of what other people put in their bodies (and of course, how they look because of their diets) became this hyped up craze, especially on Instagram. I was hooked on #InstaFood accounts, and seeing the pretty dishes everyone would share. I appreciated the not-so-healthy foods, and created this idea in my head that eating a hamburger with fries was a cool thing to do because the pictures (and people behind the accounts) were so fabulous! And that’s when it hit me – it isn’t foodie culture, it’s a nutrition culture.
Everywhere I went I started embracing the fact that everyone around me was a food stylist and photographer. I even joined them as I went about Instagraming my own nutrition and sharing it with the world. I wasn’t sharing my healthy lifestyle though, I was sharing the feasts and cheat meals of my early twenties as a college girl. Everything changed when I graduated, and moved back to Texas. The geographical change came with a shift in mind as well.
The first thing I did when I moved back was sign up for a gym membership. I need exercise to keep my stress and anxiety at bay, so with the physical habit slowly the nutrition one followed. And it was such an enlightening experience to see my work performance and emotional state change when I was balancing both my eating habits and my physical activity. My body, mind, and soul were finally aligning.
Thanks to my marketing job (and living at home) I was able to budget in a Nutrition & Wellness certification. The thing is, the more I experiment with my own food intake and exercise routine, my everyday perspective on life changes. There are days that I wake up at 5:30AM to hit the gym before going to work, all while prepared with meals that will last me the whole day, and still have energy when I get off to work on side projects and spend time with my family. If those kinds of days repeat themselves for a week or two at a time, my brain is on fire. I am the sharpest I ever been, I am able to focus on all my tasks, and even my patience dramatically changes.
Of course, I am still human and have my days of “fatty foods” and alcohol, days I skip workouts, and days I breakdown. But I feel like it’s all part of the journey. I am obsessed with the journey, the changes, and everything that came out of this nutrition culture I am thankfully part of now. I believe each and every one of us has the potential for ecstatic moments of creation. Creating whatever life we want is possible, and I believe it starts with what you feed your body, mind and soul. The nutrition culture is more than just food, I believe it’s the holistic integration of the relationships in your life, along with the food you eat and the way you move and treat your body.
The beauty of it all is that all those things that make up this nutrition culture are entirely up to you. Everyone is free to take action and change habits. It’s important to experiment with foods and exercises, we are all different and unique machines, therefore working with your intuition is very important. I sometimes call it intuition diet and intuition workouts- I literally eat what my body is asking me for, and I move and work on whatever muscle group my body is feeling the need to stretch.
Spiritual growth is also part of this nutrition culture. Everything is interconnected if you really think about it. It’s biology, we are cells, there are processes that are happening within us that we have no control over, only the power to choose what fuels it. And when it comes to going about finding the fuel, being exposed to the right things is half the work. That’s why it’s important to have a sense of what those communities that share those habits are. Surrounding yourself with the people that are vibing at your same frequency is key.
Why are you hooked on the nutrition culture?