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Bon appétit

Decisions, decisions…

manuelita otero


The other day I had to stop by the grocery store after work. It had been a long day; I was tired and hungry. As I walked along the isles I was thinking about one thing… Cheetos. I wanted Cheetos! And the closer I got, the more I wanted them. That is the one thing I gravitate toward when I’m down or tired. I know they are not good for me, I don’t even like them, but some days I just want Cheetos. I was finally standing in front of them, and as I was leaning over about to grab one I noticed the green apples in my cart and I decided not to take them. I was so proud of myself and that apple tasted so good! It’s all about decisions. Everything I eat impacts me, those around me and my planet.

Every bite is more than just a bite and so many times we are so busy, we eat without even thinking. We don’t realize what that bite could mean to my body, my family and my surroundings. We tend to have such short term mentality. We want something right now, so we get it. Instead of teaching ourselves to wait, instead of denying ourselves the things that are harmful and are actually poisoning us and could  come back later in disease and extra weight. But our food choices go further than ourselves. When I was in college I was involved with our university’s environmentalist club. We would try to promote recycling on campus, reuse and other ways to minimize our impact to the environment. I grew up and got busy with life so there was not much time to think about that. I try to reuse as much as I can, turn lights off when not in use, recycle, but is it enough? There’s always the opportunity to do more. Lately I have been reading again about the topic of sustainability, especially related to food and how what we eat impacts our environment. Our diets are unsustainable and they are affecting our planet in painful ways. Our cravings and our search for “convenience” is filling landfills with packaging waste.

So what can we do? I am all about doing what you can with what you have. The important thing is to start with something.  So if you care about your body, your future and your planet, what can you do right now? What could you fit into your day and into your diet? Start small if you want to, but start. A friend reminded me the other day how simple it is to minimize unneeded waste. She takes her coffee mug everywhere she goes, saving disposable coffee cups. I can do that. I can avoid wasting one cup each day and others may do the same as they see me and it could become a habit.   

Each day you and I have the opportunity to make the right decisions. What you put in your body will impact you now, your health in the years ahead and the future generations. Take every bite on purpose and put some thinking into your eating habits and the resources you are using. Find ways to minimize your environmental footprint and care about your health and your planet. Know that it will be a process and sometimes not an easy one. Since I shared my success story, I should also share my not so successful one. The same week I chose the delicious apple over the Cheetos, I came home late after a long day. I hadn’t eaten well so I was very hungry. I went to the kitchen, passed the apples and grabbed a bag of chips. I sat on the sofa and ate half of the bag. I knew I was making the wrong decision, I knew I would regret it, but at that moment I just wanted chips. It’s a process; don’t let one day’s failure determine the final outcome.

Manuelita @manuelitaotero