Why I Became a Conscious Eater

Ever since the Spring semester started, it’s been harder for me to readjust to living on my own. I normalized eating out and “Chick-fil-A after class” became an almost day to day activity. While that’s really fun for the first week, it starts taking a toll on your body and mind. I noticed it the most when my roommates and I would have multiple different DoorDash orders on the same day because we didn’t want to make dinner or didn’t want to grocery shop. Not only did that make me physically gain more weight, but it also put my mind in a really bad place. Not knowing exactly what I was putting into my body really spooked me and it was one of the things that got me thinking. 

Alongside that, my Philosophy professor assigned reading on animal cruelty and the effects of the livestock farming industry, and after reading it; my mind was so boggled. I realized that it had to be fate that I read that study at the same time that I was deciding on changing my eating habits. The livestock farming industry gives absolutely no regard to animal rights and completely disregards the fact that they feel things and are living and breathing creatures. Knowing that most of our meat from grocery stores comes from those farms where caging and abusing animals is like saying good morning, that didn’t sit well with me. I didn’t like how normalized it was for the consumer to be ignorant and to blissfully live in denial of the truth. 

I know it may not seem like a convincing argument, but our bodies do deserve better. Those two reasons, combined with a really nasty DoorDash order at 12 am that placed me at rock bottom (which they refunded; we got our coin, ladies), persuaded me into trying out the healthy lifestyle I’ve always been inspired to live. In the mornings, instead of grabbing any quick snack from my pantry because I know I can get food on campus after class, I started making fruit smoothies or yogurt and granola bars. My personal favorite recipe is two scoops of your favorite yogurt, a spoonful of peanut butter, a few grapes, granola and some dried cranberries. It’s a perfect start for your morning and leaves you energized for the rest of the day. 

Courtesy: Bana Habash

For snacks, I started snacking on trail-mix and fruits rather than any processed food because I hated not being able to know what was going into my body. I wanted to snack ~responsibly~. As for dinner and its recipes, I had already been revamping it after moving for college, so I had cut out red meat entirely, but chicken was hard to cut out from day to day dinner. Regardless, there are SO many vegetarian recipes that are very easy to follow and guaranteed to give you a yummy dinner. 

While your diet is obviously really important, drinking water and working out is a large part of health and wellness. Aside from drinking regular water throughout the entire day, I made a jug of detox water with lemon, lime and half a cucumber. Detox water, at least for me, helps me feel refreshed and start my day on a clear stomach and end it by “detoxing” everything I consumed during the day. As for working out, I’ve made it a habit to take a morning jog whenever I can around my apartment complex and follow that jog with a workout session. Now, I don’t believe in overworking yourself at the gym. Do the number of sets you’re comfortable with and lift the amount you’re comfortable with, just as long as you’re increasing it with time. The results will come! 

I guess this long spiel is me realizing that I deserve better than just some drive-thru food chased with cran-mango and calling it a night. I want to feel healthy again and be fit and toned. If it is at the cost of Chick-fil-A, then… Good Luck, Charlie. 

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