I have been on this health journey much more purposefully within the last few months; I am now in to month 3. Before this I wasn’t the world’s most unhealthy eating person, I would stop through fast food a few times a week choose whatever I wanted with no thought to it. I never have eaten a lot of “food products” at home because I have always loved to cook I never approached food as either helping or hurting me. Growing up I LOVED cheese, milk and every type of bread/ carbs possible. I would pick starchy and savory food over a piece of candy or something sweet. But once you eat carbohydrates they turn in to sugar in your body, so my body was telling me I wanted sugar but yet in the disguise of bread, usually dipped in ranch or topped with cheese.
I knew I wasn’t feeling 100% though. I was sluggish, tired all the time and hardly had energy to play with our girls. I would end up lying around in the afternoon and wanted to take a nap but was too stressed out that I wouldn’t wake up in time to pick Trinity up from preschool. If I really needed to get something done that day I would turn to coffee. I never liked the idea of being addicted to it and needing it every day, it has always been like a luxury. If I make it at home I have a little French press cup and I don’t even finish off the whole thing, I just enjoy it as I drink it.
Some of the top things I have done that I attribute me feeling and looking better is cutting out things and seeing how my body reacts. I knew that the two things I LOVED where big health problem culprits so I started easing out of them. I don’t drink milk very often anymore besides maybe with a chocolate chip cookie or in a latte because I am not used to looking for alternatives when I’m in other places. Making changes takes practice and we don’t go out a whole lot to get lots of practice. I still have a bit of cheese once in a while but not nearly as often as I used to.
Now what is the issue with dairy? Well like everything health related on this blog, I am new to this whole world and the idea of this is to let you see someone’s journey from the beginning and see the small steps. I don’t claim to be an expert but I will link in a lot of great information often as to where I turn for info. But my understanding of dairy is that most of today’s cow milk products are very hard to digest in our human systems. Any milk you get from the grocery store has been collected from a numerous amount of cows that are treated with antibiotics, are given steroids to keep them lactating and then put through a process to kill any bacteria that could be harmful to you because they can’t pin point where it all came from. They homogenize it so the cream doesn’t rise to the top which is done through yet again another process. If you are going to do milk, whole is the best to do because any time the fat has been lowered and lessened it is done through yet another process. Even organic milk isn’t that great for you because our nation regulates it so strictly that they have to heat it up to a point where it kills everything in it! Have you seen the organic Horizon chocolate milk before? Have you seen it sitting on the shelf next to the juice?? Why is it ok for a milk product to not have to be refrigerated?!
The best kind of milk is raw milk and from your local organic free ranging farm neighbors cows down the road are even better if you can afford it. But for us I need alternatives or to leave it alone. For now I am the only one that is cutting it out big time and the reason is because of mucus. Human bodies often can’t digest the milk we are offered at the convince stores. And what do our bodies do with it then? It turns it in to mucus that coats our intestines. That’s as far as I’ll go in to that for now.
Now for breads; there are a lot of factors to this one. Gluten intolerance has been slowly being discovered in my family. My aunt is very sensitive to it and so much so that when she was tested for allergens she was so high that the Doctor said she must have inherited the gene from both mother and father. She would be sick every morning when she was a child after breakfast with a stomach ache and it was just waved off as trying to get out of going to school. Also Alzheimer’s has been being discovered that it has a lot to do with grains and gluten, which my nana Ruby has. The terms brain fog, grain brain and grain belly are going around and bringing awareness to the issue of grains and not just gluten alone. The way grains are raised, engineered, harvested and then turned in to products for the population are not as simple as they once were. Many chemicals, mutations and processes are involved. All of which make them harder on your body. This includes rice and corn even though corn is considered a vegetable; our bodies recognize it as grain and it is often not even digested. Grain Brain by David Perlmutter is a great book on this.
A few more things I try to avoid are refined processed sugars and legumes. Sugar is such a problem in our society and I won’t go in to it right now. But this also includes soda, it is out. (Mostly) If you want more information on this just Google it or check out the book It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.
So now you are wondering what does that leave you to eat? Here is the shopping list for approved foods if you are doing a kick starter to Paleo lifestyle called the Whole 30 challenge. I’m not currently doing this for the challenge but I will go to this page to look at good healthy foods and day dream meals up out of it sometimes. http://whole30.com/downloads/whole30-shopping-list.pdf
I also tend to look at Paleo recipes because they follow these guidelines very rigorously and focus on real food and here is a link to a GREAT Paleo page that helps describe it better. A wealth of resources here. http://nomnompaleo.com/paleo101
I have never been one who would choose to go on a diet that caused me to take a lot of supplements or other chemicals that are not found in nature. Zinc, Iodine etc. type supplements I understand and can pronounce them, but if I am going to need to buy products to replace products at the grocery store I have trouble doing that. I wanted to do something with as real and pure food as our budget will allow for.
I am doing it in steps because I don’t want to give my family whiplash with a whole new way of eating, especially with having two little girls. Although some things like the paleo chocolate chip cookies and banana ice cream I made they liked better than my husband. But getting them to eat a lot of vegetables will take practice and recalibrating their taste buds.
Breakfast has been hard when cutting out grains, no cereal for me. I usually do eggs some way but have been getting bored. Saturday I did hash brown baskets with eggs cooked inside (inspired by The Whole Food Diary) then Saturday night I made a grain free apple crisp because we planned on being at the 8 am church service, I knew I would need something fast. I just warmed it up a bit and then ate in the car on the way. Omelets with vegetables, ham, sausage or bacon are great as well. Oh yeah and we made chocolate raspberry banana ice cream one day and the girls thought it was so fun having ice cream for breakfast. Which in reality was just frozen sliced bananas put through the food processor and then I added a bit of unsweetened chocolate baking powder and some raspberries.
Lunch is often left overs re purposed usually in to a salad of some sort. Otherwise I still just like the ease of sandwiches, I load up a lettuce leaf with turkey, a slice of bacon, some mayo, cucumbers, peppers whatever I want and a few sprinkles of oregano. I did get a sweet deal on some scallops and have been spreading those out for lunches as I know the girls wont like them and Ben may tolerate them but not appreciate them the way they deserve. To me they are amazing and my body wants sea food. (Wild cold water caught only, I think farmed is a waste of money and you are just harming your body more than helping it.)
(Guys cravings are there for a reason, your body is sending you signals….Ok more on that later. )
Dinner I usually think up things that the family can have that are pretty normal and that I can turn and do with out grains or at least very little. Example burgers, they can have cheese burgers on buns, I take mine cheese less topped with guacamole, sauteed onions, pickles whatever and wrap it in a lettuce leaf. I usually will make my own oven fries or do zucchini. We did pesto zucchini with our lasagna for Ben’s birthday and we really liked that. (The lasagna was conventional because it was Ben’s birthday) I ate a little bit, lots of zucchini a salad and a bit of banquette with lots of grassfeed butter. I am not afraid of fats, healthy fats that is. How is this different than dairy you may ask, I’ll cover that at a later date. Strict Paleo would say no to butter and yes to Ghee which is clarified butter….
There is way more to what I have changed than I thought but the biggest thing I think is to listen to your body and eat as whole unadulterated foods as possible. Cook your own food. Reduce stress. And I ask God for wisdom. Every person is different, something may work for me that doesn’t work for you, that is how it is. But I was put on this path by God and I believe that He is the one who created me and knows what is best for me. I let Him guide me to what is right for me and my family. That is grace.