Avocado: My Journey from Fear to Fangirl
I'm not here to break the news that avocados are trending… you most likely aren’t able to wander into the local coffee shop or scroll through your Instagram feed without seeing these auspicious fruits on some form of bread, bowl or beauty product. Do I adore them because of their decedent buttery taste + touted benefits as s superfood? Of course. But my passion (passsssion- HA!) stems from a different place.
10 years ago you couldn't pay me to put even 1/2 of one of these guys on my plate during a "normal day". I knew too much (or so I thought) and these babies were loaddded with calories + fat that would send my fitness tracking app through the roof. Even on my weekend splurges, I could only imagine ordering if it was in the appropriate setting i.e. Mexican restaurant with bottomless chips- go big or go home…you feel me? Instead I stuck with what I knew worked, what felt safe, without the cost of breaking my diet bank- the fat free yogurt, the salad dressing with zero calories (I'm not kidding- there's a brand that claims to have ZERO), ice cream that would allow me to eat all 4 servings in the container guilt free. I could care less what was actually in all of my pantry staples, as long as it A. Tasted good and B. Had numbers on the nutritional label that gave me permission to eat the entire box, bowl or bottle in one sitting if I chose…which ended up being more times than not.
Meanwhile, while I'm over here obsessing about food quantity and numerics I was also geeking out about the latest nutrition articles hitting the shelves. Ever since my first copy of Self magazine when I was 13, (Gisele Bundchen was on the cover) I’d been tearing through this information. For diet tips & tricks? Of course. But also the pure fascination for health and how our body works. I would read one piece praising the endless benefits of whole foods and then another that listed the top 10 new low-calorie products on the market....#confused.
The idea of eating whole, natural foods was beginning to strike a chord with me though. But if I'm being completely honest, I was TERRIFIED to actually try it out. Diet foods had ruled my life and kept my body at a place that I was okay with for as long as I could remember. I knew the moment I shifted this way of eating, I'd gain 20 lbs and the world would be over (P.S. it wouldn't- also something I've learned with growth). But still, I was curious. And the first food that I would always think of during my Sunday night pep talks for my diet that coming week would be an avocado. It was my forbidden fruit. The food that would finally enter the safety zone if I chose to rebrand my kitchen. My knowledge around this “beauty food” had me constantly weighing its alleged benefits vs. all of the numbers that came with it.
Can I also pause for a moment and mention that we're just talking about an avocado here...my anxiety around nuts, seeds, and oils was on another level. Okay.. back to the story.
Finally, after years agonizing over this little green fruit, I finally gave myself permission to start adding it to my plate on the regular. Did I ditch my diet foods all at once? No. But it did start to shift something for me.
Rather than any anticipated physical change, my transformation was unexpectedly more emotional. Not only did I begin feeling satiated after my meals that included this a staple, I started to feel more present. This was crazy for me- I'd never experienced the sensation of connecting with food in almost a medicinal way. Most of my life, everything that I ate had been associated with how it would affect my frame. For the first time ever I started to see food as a way to nourish my mind and body instead of a plate full of calories.
Little did I know that this would become the first baby step towards my own version of wellness- something I couldn't even really see as an option beforehand. My personal transformation might have started with an avocado, but it's completely blossomed into each part of my life- relationships, job, bucket list goals, spirituality etc. etc. Did I have all of the answers at first? Nope. Do I have all of the answers now? NOPE. One of the most amazing parts of this journey is the new information that I learn every day, both externally and within myself. Getting the opportunity to work with women who are hoping to overcome their own "avocado fears" and craving their own wellness path is bigger than I could have ever imagined.
I hope that we continue to inspire one another and one day meet over a big bowl of guacamole ;)
BTW... all of those years I spent dodging my desire for avocados? These are just some of the health + beauty benefits I missed out on:
20 different vitamins & minerals (vitamin K, folate and vitamin C topping the list)
Boosts collagen in the skin
Regulates blood sugar levels
Helps with digestion
Rich in antioxidants + increased antioxidant absorption from other foods when properly combined
Healthy oleic acid that reduces inflammation
Polyunsaturated fats that protect your skin from sun damage, inflammation, and premature wrinkles
Immune boosting properties