I've always valued taking care of my body with frequent exercise and well balanced meals. But lately this past week I've been more conscious than ever and realizing just how important it is to begin healthy habits early on in life. Three things last week triggered this: First, my stomach had been feeling off ever since coming back from Detroit, so once home I took it easy and drank lemon tea. Second, Lea Michele promoted #YouFirstFitness on her social media pages to encourage her fans to eat better and stay active (I never really watched Glee, but I really admire her). And third: my dad found out he had type 2 diabetes.
He's okay though! And doing very well. As long as he changes his diet and begins regular exercise, he won't even need medication; in this case, it's quite treatable. For anyone wondering, Type 2 means you acquired it from having too much sugar in your diet (Type 1 means your body isn't producing enough insulin to break down sugars). We were a bit confused upon finding out: my dad isn't overweight, is not a big drinker, and always had a great appetite for all kinds of food. Plus, he himself is pretty health conscious, taking his vitamins every morning.
So what happened? Too much fruit juice! He absolutely loves his Allen's apple juice and hadn't realized just how much sugar fruit juices contain. Combined with the fact that he's no spring chicken any more (he'll be 60 this year!) and doesn't exercise enough, this was his body's way of telling him he needs to be a little more careful in his older age - and a wake-up call for the rest of our family.
All week, we've been eating differently at dinner to help accommodate our dad. Rather than having our usual pasta and potatoes with our salad, we've been having grilled zucchini, lean chickens, and beans mixed with light beef for protein. And you know what? We've all noticed how great we've been feeling! No bloating, more energy, and lighter-feeling tummies. I even upped my home exercises this week with a lot more cardio (and fun dancing!)
I absolutely love pasta, potatoes, and all that good stuff at the dinner table. Once my dad's blood sugar is levelled out, we'll be able to have some of those things again and I can't wait. But in the meantime, it's been a great experience to eat the different foods available and noticing the positive changes its made in our lifestyle already.