In October 2023, I started the Clean Eating Challenge by Viva Fresh! I was invited by my sister and shortly after joining found out that one of my college classmates is a mentor in the challenge. I took it as a sign it was meant to be for me to join.
My family heritage is in dairy and citrus for several generations. My bachelor’s degree is in Agriculture/ Food Science before I completed my MBA and some advanced engineering certifications. I’ve been working as a food industry professional since 2005. While in the US Army I served in the Medical Regiment helping fellow soldiers with medical concerns and nutrition. I’m well aware of all the benefits of produce, but at times I can be my own worst patient. I’m forever grateful for the farming community to have partners to do this challenge towards health improvement.
Here’s some of the goals I’ve set for myself over the 6 month challenge:
🍎Eat 5+ servings of produce every single day
🍎Log my food in a tracker daily and monthly
🍎Carve out a fitness routine and stick to it
(I’m finalizing details on this SMART goal).
I’m dealing with some significant health concerns and welcomed the timing of the challenge.
I’m neurodivergent with Asperger Syndrome “the misunderstood genius syndrome” on the autism spectrum. Steve Jobs and Andy Warhol are reported to have the same disorder. Symptoms include a repetitive verbal communication style and difficulty in social situations. The disability is often associated with higher than normal IQ and deeper analytic abilities.
Lately, I’ve shouldered some harassment and attacks on my introverted nerdy style that have landed me in repeated medical care with anxiety, escalated blood pressure and weight gain.
❌ I went to counseling, but didn’t lose the weight or improve my health
❌ I went on medications to seem more “neurotypical”, but that impacted other organs
❌ I saw a series of medical specialists who diagnosed anxiety from the harassment
It probably doesn’t help the case that I have severe PTSD as well causing overdoses of cortisol stress hormone being pushed into my body by 2 mental health disabilities when harassed or assaulted.
So maybe instead of focusing on reactive medical treatments it’s time for preventive care…
Food as medicine.
I’m following the Clean Eating Challenge Program plus engaged in an awesome supportive community of fellow produce industry members who embrace mental health as part of wellness.
Check back in next month for my update on how things are going and my progress.