Monday, March 08, 2010

Getting Healthier: Part I

Man, 2010 (so far) has been a year of major change for me. Not change like moving, or having a baby, or becoming a model for Victoria Secret (wouldn't that be crazy!), but change like...I'm changing. Me. Myself. Moi. Yours Truly. I.

For the better, I believe. For the better.

Obviously, you could sense this change with the post I wrote on Thursday. Before that and since then, however, something else humongous has happened to me. It involves food and health and more motherhood crap. Except it isn't "crappy." It's good stuff.

I read this book. (Thanks to my cousin Stephanie for the recommendation!)

And it has changed my life.

For those of you not familiar with this book, it teaches your basic Organic-Type principal: Man-made stuff is slowly killing us, and we need to get back to Nature. To the basics. And if you read this book, you will learn about metabolism, hormones, how they all work together, what it has to do with weight-loss and maintenance, the foods you should eat, and other awful toxic things in our lives we should avoid.

Now, I'm the first person to admit that it sounded pretty radical to me at first. I've been burned before by "well-meaning" political environmentalism before. I also don't do well with extremism. At. All. But I do know I need to do something different. And for years, I've known that the best foods to eat are the rawest, the purest, and the simplest. That, to me, is logical. It makes sense. And I like things to make sense. Doesn't mean I did it, or knew how to do it, or even WANTED to do it, but it still made sense to me.

So, I read this book. I read it slowly. I was shocked by what I learned, but I was also okay with it. When she got to the list of foods we SHOULD eat, my whole body said "YES!" not quite unlike how it reacted to reading about Hynobirthing.
It just makes sense!

And now I'm trying to change. I've thought about it, I've looked at the Word of Wisdom again, I've pondered how my health has ebbed and flowed over the years, and now I think I'm finally ready to make some very important and drastic changes. Not TOO drastic, but drastic enough. I think what really tipped the scale was the fact that my children were just eating crap all the time. I tried to stop buying the junk, but then that left them with apples, and kids can only eat apples for so long! This has given me a good list of foods, what they do, and how they will help our bodies. In fact, I told the kids about this new way of eating and they are so excited! Well, the picky ones aren't too thrilled, but I'm sure they will come around. You'll see when I tell you, dear reader, what the foods are in Part II.

And just so you know, I'm not following everything she suggests in this book (I'm not getting rid of every plastic toy), but even she said "if you even just do half of this, you'll be way better than you are now," or something like that. I agree with her.

So, there you go. I'm going to eat better. Truly better. Not fat-free-full-of-aspartame-but-it's-only-50-calories! kind of better. Whole foods that work together to make your metabolism run the way it's supposed to. Not foods full of pesticides and chemicals added to make them last longer on a store shelf.

Oh. my. heck. I sound like the people I used to think were slightly crazy and paranoid. AAACCCKKK! I'm becoming one of them!

And I can't wait.


Julie said...

That's a wonderful thing!!!

I feel like we're somewhere in the middle of the road with the way we eat. We could definitely do better, but we're slightly above the national average. :)

FoxyJ said...

I been thinking many of the same thoughts lately about food. We're doing OK with some things, not so great with others. I'd love to switch over to mostly just homemade, minimally processed stuff, but it's hard to change old habits. Later this year I plan to make some changes after baby gets bigger. However, when I was talking to my husband tonight he sounded a bit panicked at the idea that we might not eat cold cereal any more. Baby steps, I guess.

Allen Family said...

Cheryl, I just love you. And, I love reading your blog and peeking into your life. :) Way to go on making these changes. I'm looking forward to hearing more about them through your blog. I feel like my husband and I are pretty good eaters. Our biggest problem? Self control, when it comes to sweets. We seriously don't have a balance. It is either no cookies; or else, the entire batch of cookies. No middle ground here. I'm looking forward to learning more about your eating plans. Good luck!

Brent Checketts said...

Haha....we're some of those people you "used to think were slightly crazy and paranoid!" It's funny how many people have those same thoughts and dismiss everything we say (not just food/health wise) until they have their own personal epiphany/revelation. Good for you guys and good luck. Is Brandon on board?

Emily & Co. said...

I'm curious to see what changes you make...I'm sure people think I'm a little fanatic, but I've just been trying to make changes slowly over the last few years so that my family will be healthy. The hardest thing has been coming up w/foods that don't make my kids feel like their missing out when their friends have chips and other "yummy" foods.

Anonymous said...

A very worthy goal. Lifestyle changes are hard. Good luck.

Cardalls said...

I think eating healthy is GREAT and we try and do our fair share around here. However I just want to play the devil's advocate here for a minute. I had a friend who was forbidden to eat sugar and backfired as she got out on her own she completely binged on sugar, dessert etc and got up to 250 lbs. She has some real issues with food, weight etc. I am not saying you will be that extreme but I think there has to be a healthy balance in everything. Fanatical in any extreme isn't healthy!

m_and_m said...

I have one word to say: RECIPES. I love others' ideas of how to fold more healthy foods into their cooking. It's one of my passions, actually. I think it's a fun challenge. It also can make for a nice middle ground, to fold more healthy things into things your family is used to eating. For example, you can make your own cream of chicken soup (no more icky GLOP coming out of a can!) -- (I use bouillon, a mixture of wheat flour and olive or canola oil, some milk, and golden flax seed and pureed white beans to thicken as needed.)

So, no, I have more to say, actually. I think that a key to this is doing what feels right for you. I think part of why it can all feel fanatical is that sometimes it's made to sound like there is One Right Way to eat and live well, and sometimes it's easy when something works for someone to then say "It should work for everyone in THIS WAY."

But there are just some good, solid principles in what you share here, particularly, imo, in simply eating more whole foods.

In the end, if you are smart, it can also save money to eat better. Processed food is, generally speaking, more expensive. And it's easier to buy whole basic staples in bulk.

My fave health foods to use are quinoa, spinach, berries, and flax seed. We love homemade granola, too. After talking with you, I want to get my yogurt maker out and make more yogurt. :)

Can't wait to hear what works for your family.

brenbot said...

welcome aboard sister!