People dressed as ramen, takeout, tomato, and banana conflict with each other.

You Are What You Eat

Have you ever heard the expression, “You are what you eat?” Back in the day, when I was, ahem, younger, before Parkinson’s reared its ugly head. I used to love Mexican, Chinese, and Thai cuisine. If it was remotely spicy, the more I preferred. Dining out was a regular routine with our family.

Food consumption and overall health

I should note that for the record, that I am offering my opinion here, although there is scientific research to back up my claim. Too much to list here. Fortunately, or not, the list of sources spans the internet.

Many nutrition experts will tell you your diet, that is to say, your consumption of certain foods has a general impact on your overall health. This is not to say if you regularly eat processed food, you will become obese or if you eat too much bacon that you are susceptible to cancer. Instead, what I am saying is too much of one thing isn’t always good.

"You've got to be kidding!"

In 1984 (I did say, “Back in the day,”- right?), I was diagnosed with a small ulcer that changed my meal choices forever. My doctor referred me to a nutritionist who laid out a simple diet that included vegetables and fruits. I remember saying, “You’ve got to be kidding!” Unfortunately, this person was serious.

If I continued on the same path of the attitude of eating whatever I felt like, then, my self-destruction would be eminent. Needless to say, one year later, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD). I remember thinking, but I’m only 32 years old. This cannot be!

Rethinking what I eat

I also remembered the words my nutritionist had said. I kept playing it over and over again in my head. Could it be? My PD was self-inflicted? That theory has yet to be proven. However, since my diagnosis, I have rethought the way I eat including better, healthier choices, like more fresh vegetables and fruits, nuts and berries.

I try to buy more organic, non-GMO (or products loaded with preservatives). I still occasionally dine out at my favorite Mexican restaurant and maybe skip the Tequila shots, but I try to balance it out with a healthy breakfast. I even bought an electric juicer and use it just about every day.

No regrets, just moving forward

I don’t ever regret not eating healthy when I was younger and it’s never too late to start nor do I feel sorry about being diagnosed with PD. I don’t dwell about the why of my disease. The facts are that I feel great when I eat a more balanced diet (even when the smoothie is green and bitter).

The takeaway from this article would be this:  Live life to the fullest each day because we are not guaranteed tomorrow but perhaps we can extend that day just a little bit. Live well, my friends.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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