"I saw few die of hunger; of eating, a hundred thousand." -Ben Franklin

Sunday, January 27, 2013

How Changing Food Changed Everything

I apologize for my massive blogging hiatus.  Last semester was incredibly busy-- between some really tough classes, a bunch of extracurriculars, and a writing job, I felt like I didn't even have time to breathe!  But I'm back, and I hope to blog more regularly now.  (I recently did a guest blog over at Your Health First-- check it out!)  This is going to be a bit of a personal post, but my journey was most definitely inspired by the ancestral health community.

Up until about six months ago, my plan for after graduation was to go to law school.  From the time I was about twelve until I was about twenty (i.e. right around the time I started this blog and really got into the health community), all I cared about for my future was making money-- I wanted to be a lawyer to the stars, I wanted a swanky NYC apartment, and I wanted to be rich.  Then at some point after I really became passionate about health, I changed my mind.  I didn't care about money anymore; instead, I decided I wanted to represent farmers and fight Monsanto, or work for the ACLU, or get into food politics, or do child advocacy.  I wanted to help people and make a difference!  I saw what this community was doing for people-- everyone was (and still is!) so supportive and helpful, and I got into this "I want to save the world" mentality... which I still have.

When I left for Scotland, I still had plans for law school.  But studying abroad was a life-changing experience for me-- everything got put into perspective, and I realized that I didn't want to deal with three more years of school.  I'm still extremely interested in law (one of my favorite classes this semester is History of American Law: 1877- Present), but right now, law school isn't for me.  Maybe it will be in the future, and maybe one day I will represent farmers or work for the ACLU, but at the moment, I'm looking at a lot of other options.
Once I decided against law school, I realized it was really the first time in my life that I didn't have a plan.  From the time I was a little kid, my plan was to work my butt off and go to an Ivy League school.  Then my plan from middle school until last year was to work my butt off and get into a top law school and then work for a major law firm.  It was kind of liberating, not having a plan anymore-- I have a million interests, and it was really exciting to not know where my future was going to go for the first time ever.  So this past summer was spent really reevaluating my life, and I realized that I love kids (I actually really loved working at a summer camp again, and I don't regret not going for some fancy internship instead), I love health (especially after attending AHS12 and finally meeting everyone!), I love writing and music and theatre.  Do I have any idea what I'm going to do with my life?  Not in the least bit... but I've been applying to education, writing, legal, and non-profit jobs.  I'm happy with anything as long as it makes a difference in someone's life.

If I hadn't gotten into this real food movement, I don't know if any of these changes would've happened.  I wouldn't know anything about food politics or health, and I wouldn't know how awesome it feels to watch a community support each other like this one does.  I truly think my changed eating habits changed everything-- I became less stressed out and less cynical, and more into helping people and trying to save the world.  I stopped hanging out with toxic people, my personality type changed from INTJ to ISTJ (and my Hogwarts house changed from Slytherin to Ravenclaw), and I just felt-- and still feel-- so much better and happier.  It was a massive change, and it was exactly what I needed.

My senior quote in my high school yearbook was from Fame:  "How bright our spirits go shooting out into space depends on how much we contributed to the earthly brilliance of this world.  And I mean to be a major contributor."  I believe in this quote so much more now than I did four years ago, and I truly want to contribute amazing things to this world, regardless of which industry I end up working in.

As I approach three years of this lifestyle in just a few days, I want to thank everyone who has gotten me to this point.  It's still scary that I don't know what I'm doing with my life yet, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

Quote of the Day:
"But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human.  So she was turned to a pillar of salt.  So it goes.  People aren't supposed to look back.  I'm certainly not going to do it anymore."  -Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five


  1. Hi Leigh,
    Welcome back! I am delighted you have made the decision to hopefully pursue nutrition!
    I too started my blog while working in a completly different field i.e business with an Economics major. I have now become inspired to study Nutritional Therapy and am in my 2nd year of my diploma. It is funny how we can be inspired in life but I think there is a reason for everyone and we should grasp the opportunity with open hands!
    Best of luck with your future plans!
    Denise, Irish Paleo Girl

    1. Hey Denise-- it's great to hear from you! That's so fantastic you're now pursuing nutrition after being in business. It's such a huge change, but it certainly shows that we need to follow our hearts and do the things we're passionate about. Good luck with your diploma-- I'm sure you're going to do great things with it!

  2. good for you! I have found the paleo lifestyle and international travel also as life-changing experiences. I have a very good paying corporate job now, and I feel like a slave. I'm planning to leave corporate life, too, and I applaud you for not ever getting into it!

  3. Hi Leigh, inspired by this piece you written follow your heart.

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