An apple a day keeps the doctor away! All of us have heard this old saying, right?! Well, I do believe this saying holds some truth. It is a known fact that many illnesses can be prevented, treated, and even cured by practicing good dietary and lifestyle habits. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the majority of people in the United States do not eat a healthy diet and consume too much sodium, saturated fat, and sugar, increasing their risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, kidney disease, cancer, etc. This is a major issue indeed, where too many people are suffering and dying from illnesses that could have been prevented or even cured if they would have developed better eating habits.
Unfortunately, I lost both my parents due to chronic illnesses. I witnessed the suffering of my parents firsthand from these illnesses. I basically lived in the hospitals, trying to be there for my parents as they were being treated. Towards the end of their lives, I lived in utter fear of losing them. Whenever the phone rings, I was terrified that I would be receiving the dreaded news that my mother or father had passed away. The worst part about this situation is feeling completely helpless, trying to be the best daughter I could be but feeling like a complete failure. I didn’t know what to do. Words cannot explain my heartbreak in witnessing my parents wither away and die right in front of me as a result of these illnesses and I could not do anything about it.
My parents were like so many Americans who did not have healthy eating habits which led to the onset of chronic illnesses that eventually claimed their lives. Unfortunately, my parents were not the only ones who suffered from chronic illnesses. I also lost aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and neighbors who battled with these illnesses. My loved ones were dropping like flies, so to speak, and after losing so many, I felt a great push and a passion to do something about this crisis. So, I began researching more than ever on chronic diseases and ways to prevent, treat, and even cure them through healthy eating habits. In my research, I began noticing that the reason many people developed unhealthy eating habits was not solely due to their personal decisions of choosing an unhealthy lifestyle, but rather, many factors contributed to these unhealthy eating habits. These contributing factors include: the inaccessibility to healthy foods; the perception of healthy foods as distasteful, therefore creating a cocaine-like addition to unhealthy foods; and not being properly educated on healthy foods and eating habits.
I live in Alabama known for its Southern Hospitality. I love my community! It is full of so much history and culture. Alabama was one of the major focal points in the Civil Rights Movement and birthing one of the Movement’s key leaders, Ms. Rosa Parks!!! It is where the courageous and prominent leader Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered one of his popular speeches, “How Long, Not Long”, on the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery!!! Alabama is home to two of the biggest names in college football: Roll Tide and War Eagle! Let’s Go!!! I was born in Mobile, which is Alabama’s oldest city and also home to the Mardi Gras! Yes, Mobile is where it all began honey, not New Orleans, as many people typically believe 😊. I take a lot of pride in my home. It’s that’s Bama Pride!!! LOL!!!
Although I love and take pride in my home state, I do not, however, take pride in the fact that Alabama is in a serious health crisis. In my research I noticed that chronic illnesses were not only prevalent in my family, but surprisingly enough, also running rampant within my home city of Mobile and the state of Alabama due to the contributing factors as mentioned above. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the residents of Mobile have a higher rate of obesity and a lower life expectancy than the national average!!! TimesDaily newspaper reported that Alabamians have the second worst eating habits in the United States. A study published by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in 2018 (The State of Obesity 2018: Better Policies for a Healthier America) showed that Alabama’s obesity rate increased to 36.3 percent, placing Alabama as the 5th “fattest” state in the United States! OMG!!! With these staggering statistical data, it is no wonder why many people in my community, including my loved ones, were suffering and dying sooner than they should.
In dealing with the passing of my parents and other loved ones along with seeing the frightening health statistics about my hometown and state, a passion lit inside of me that will not go away. I feel a great push to help my family and community, and I believe that opening a quality, health-based restaurant would be the key in an effort to eradicate this health crisis. Opening a health-based restaurant in Mobile would help to ensure that my community will have access to healthy food selections. There are literally tens of thousands of fast-food restaurant chains located across the United States that only offer unhealthy food selections on their menus. In a research published by the fitness website Total Shape, Alabama ranks as one of the top unhealthiest states in the U.S. and has the highest number of fast food restaurants per capita!!! WOW!!! There are very few restaurants open in my community that do offer more healthy foods. However, the food selections at these restaurants are not all healthy; and for the healthy foods they do offer, tend to be very basic, boring, and bland in taste. My vision is to create a restaurant that will offer all clean and healthy food selections, while at the same time appeal to the people’s taste buds. By providing a more appetizing, yet, healthy menu and making healthy foods more accessible, this will ensure that customers will stick to healthy eating habits, thereby, reducing obesity and the number of chronic health conditions within my community.
Furthermore, my health-based restaurant will also be a platform to help educate my community on the importance of developing healthy eating habits. I believe my community is very much unaware of the statistical data of both Mobile’s and Alabama’s health crisis. I know I was very much unaware! As a resident of Mobile, Alabama myself, I was flabbergasted to discover such harsh and astounding facts on the unhealthy state of my community. I know for a fact that there is very minimal to virtually no health education being taught in my community. Even our school systems fail to educate our children on healthy eating and how this can help prevent chronic diseases. Knowledge is definitely power. I absolutely believe with every fiber in me that when I open my restaurant, I will bring forth health-based knowledge to Mobile and Alabama in such a way that will revolutionize my community, where healthy eating habits will be the new normal.
I see this new restaurant as more than just another business venture, but an opportunity to break generational curses within my family and community. I want to be there for my children in the future. I do not want my children to suffer the agony of losing their parents sooner than they should. I can’t help but ponder all the things that I will never have the opportunity to enjoy; the little things that many people take for granted. My mother and my father will never get the opportunity to hold my children. My father will never walk me down the aisle to give me away when I get married. I even miss having coffee with my mom in the morning. I miss kissing my mom on her soft cheeks. I miss the embrace of my father’s hugs, who always affirmed to me that his love for me can never be taken away no matter what. I miss my parents so much that sometimes the pain is unbearable. I know that I am not the only person who has suffered from losing loved ones earlier than they should due to obesity and chronic illnesses. I know that many people in my community are living with obesity and chronic illness and are not able to have a better quality of life. There has to be a change, and I believe that change will begin with me.
To all my potential angels and funders out there, I do appreciate you just taken the time out to read my campaign proposal! If you decide to fund my campaign, please rest assured that all funds received would be used to execute my business plan to bring my health-based restaurant into fruition. All funds would be used to help cover startup costs, specifically in securing a location, hiring a team, purchasing kitchen equipment and appliances, furniture (tables, chairs, etc.), fixtures, signage, inventory, creating an incredible website, marketing, etc. It would mean so much to me and my community for you to contribute to opening a health-based restaurant that promotes healthy-eating habits. I know that many of you can relate to losing someone sooner than expected or even know someone who suffers from obesity and chronic diseases. So, let’s be part of a change that actually puts a stop to unnecessary suffering and allow many people to live their best lives! Come on angels and funders…. Let’s go make that change!
Thank you in advance for your AMAZING generosity!!!! I will not disappoint you!!!!
#BeBlessed&Healthy #Let'sChangeLives #ThankYou!