By Valerie Driscoll, Lead Coach and Coaching Program Developer for Apollo Health
At the beginning of each of our Mastering Nutrition groups, Monica Tarr and I listen to members check in with various “wins” in their KetoFLEX 12/3 progress. Some of these wins have included longer fasting, replacing milk with a non-dairy version, new veggie choices, and progress toward plant-based vs. the SAD diet, among many others. Each participant is in a unique place in their progress, and many of their wins are food changes they had struggled to make — things they believed they could never live without when they began the Bredesen Protocol. Let’s face it; the “just say no” foods are all the foods we have happily said “yes!” to all of our lives!
After our most recent session, I was peering into my salad bowl, pondering the ingredients of what I refer to as “my big-ass salad” and marveling that I — a recovering foodaholic — have gotten to a place in my eating journey where 95% of what I eat is fuel and medicine for my body. The ingredients of this salad: dark, leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, red cabbage, red onion, parsley, basil, pumpkin seeds, tempeh, sea veggies, and kimchi, all drenched in high-polyphenol EVOO and nutritional yeast, are a far cry from my salad of old. Most of my adult life, my salad, which eventually grew into its current colossal size, consisted of romaine, chickpeas, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, cheese, croutons, croutons, croutons, croutons, cottage cheese, honey-roasted peanuts, and Hidden Valley Ranch Low Fat Dressing (absolutely invented by the same corporation that brought us crack cocaine). Imagining that a salad or a life — could exist without cheese, gourmet garlic and parmesan croutons, or creamy salad dressing would have been impossible.
The point of this short salad memoir is this: eating to heal ourselves is an evolution, a process that takes the desire to make it happen, knowledge, experimentation, a new set of skills, and some time. One of the most important skills is challenging the mindset that food must be a certain way: coffee with cream and sugar, dinner with meat and potatoes, happy hour with wine, or salad with cheese and croutons.
One of the most gratifying parts of my job is seeing this mindset shift happen in participants and clients. I often hear the statement, “If you had ever told me I would be (eating or not eating) ______, I would have told you that you were crazy!”. Yet here they are, doing it, and the next thing you know, ten people are having an animated Zoom conversation about all the ways one can use sea vegetables!
So, wherever you are in your evolution, know that you can do it too. Remember that the Apollo member website is filled with guides and resources to help you with your progress, and so many members share their evolution and wisdom in the Apollo member forum.
If anyone had ever told me that I would be writing about the ingredients of my big-ass salad to thousands of people, I would have told them they were crazy. Viva the evolución!