Mixed Nation

Diversity | Inclusion | Multiracial | Mixed Race |


Reflections on Healthy Food vs. Junk Food

Excerpt from my Food journal #4:

12/23/13- 4:23pm- The Greek God yogurt (honey flavored) with organic granola mix on top.

I love yogurt, especially this kind. It tastes good. It feels good in my stomach. And the granola crunchiness gives it the perfect kick. It’s kinda funny to be paying this much attention to the food I put in my body. But I know I must if I want to take my health to the next level. So this food journal that my friend/nutrition coach is having me do is helping to keep me accountable to this goal of mine.

I am currently about two months into this nutrition program I signed up to do through the wonderful Tammy Chang, a friend of mine whom I met through capoeira and who is also a wonderful nutrition coach (www.thenourishedbelly.com). Starting this program during the Holiday season was quite a challenge, I must admit. It is making me aware of just how much I need to do in order to truly transform my life into the active, healthy lifestyle I am striving to build for myself.

Keeping a food journal is bringing up all sorts of emotions. I mean, I already knew that food gets caught in the middle of social and political issues such as, poverty, education, and health care. But when I reflect on the impact that fast food and other junk food has on kids, it really makes me upset. There is no logical reason why youth growing up in poverty should have to eat less quality food than those who are financially secure. It makes me angry when I think about how fast food chains and food-making processes that are obviously causing such disastrous consequences for our mental and physical health is even legal!

When I start to feel too overwhelmed by the complexity and depth of this issue, I force myself to remember that there are many beautiful gardens and farms being born all over the world as more and more people become aware of just how much our mental & physical health depends on the nutritious quality of the food and liquids we put into our bodies. I remind myself that one can only do so much in a lifetime and by beginning with myself, I am making a difference.

I can only take it a day at a time, try my best, and pick myself up to try again whenever I fall short of my goals. This journey towards more healthy eating is definitely challenging me in all sorts of unexpected ways. So in order to not get discouraged, I count my blessings, learn from my mistakes, and try to eat more leafy vegetables and whole foods instead of pizza and soda. It’s not about completely giving up those things, but by making junk food a once-in-a-while type of thing, it will definitely start you off on the path towards a more healthy lifestyle.


Kaira Portillo

Kaira Portillo-Espinoza was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. She is grateful for having grown up around such a wide spectrum of diversity, which makes the Bay Area the unique place it is. Her first published book, Poems About This Roller-Coaster Ride Called Life, is a collection of poems she wrote throughout high school and college and explores issues of injustice, resistance, sexuality, and empowerment.