If you have read my earlier posts then you are aware of the uphill challenges I have faced with learning to eat nutritious foods. I was raised up eating a traditional southern Appalachian diet, if there is anything traditional about it. Mainly the people who chose to settle in these very mountainous parts learned to eat what would grow in these parts. As you may have already read, I grew up eating a diet filled with fried foods, starches and sweets. There is a large medical facility in a small city about 15 miles away from my house and it is overflowing with cardiology patients. Heart disease and diabetes can be, for the most part, preventable depending upon diet and exercise levels. In defense, I can honestly admit that most of the people I live around really don’t know any better. Although, change is on the rise due to better access to education. The local grocery stores have further exacerbated the problem as well. For example, one of the three grocery stores in this small town has displays everywhere you look with candy and Little Debbie cakes. It looks like they open boxes of Little Debbie cakes and sell them individually. Every aisle is filled with temptation. There is a large aisle at least 40 feet long completely devoted to different varieties of potato chips and sodas. In comparison, the entire produce section is smaller than half the size of the potato chip aisle. Up until about four years ago, you could only buy one kind of lettuce, iceberg, which has very little nutritious value. Recently, I have noticed that they have started selling a few bags of lettuce varieties. Forget about finding anything “exotic” like leeks or parsnips. I don’t mean to sound condescending in tone when writing this post, but it is excruciatingly frustrating trying to find ingredients for a healthier diet. For that very reason, I usually travel 30-40 miles round trip to go to a decent grocery store that offers more than Little Debbie cakes and soda pop.
As Mahatma Ghandi said, “you must be the change you want to see in the world.” I suppose that is what I must do as well. Eventually as I continue down this path to better health I am hoping to find others who feel the same. When one person begins creating a path to a better way of living then surely others will feel inspired and follow, thereby helping the first person who laid the foundation to feel less like a freak. That is my hope and desire as I wade through the throngs of sugar and grease searching for better nutrition not only for me, but for countless others who are or will be needlessly suffering from disease.