Now before I get into what I'm doing I have to be upfront about a couple of things:
1. I will continue to eat meat. Lean meat. Organic meat. But meat. And eggs. Brown eggs! Free-range chicken eggs. But eggs.
2. I will continue to eat dairy. Lots of non-fat Greek yogurt and natural cheeses and organic milk. But dairy.
3. Yes, the book recommended these things. And like my gut reaction, I reacted with YES! It makes sense to me. Moderation. Sensible moderation. To me (please note the "ME" part), this makes sense because I don't think completely cutting out one type of food or restricting one particular thing --if it is natural --makes sense. If you think I'm bonkers, that's fine. I don't think vegetarians or vegans are bonkers (I really don't), but I don't agree with the diet. I don't. I can't.
I had to say this upfront because I'm afraid people are already naturally assuming I'm going to eat a certain way (or make my children eat a certain way) and it's not true. But I don't want to hurt any feelings in the process or offend anyone, either. Like my friend m&m said, what works for one person may not work for another. This is true, too. If you are doing your best to be healthy, then I will respect it. I will. Of course, if all you eat is Doritos and diet coke, well, then...good luck with that.
This, in a nut shell, is what the book says to do (however, I highly recommend buying it, reading it, and choosing parts of it to do yourself, just because it's impossible to really know why the following is recommended without loads of details and the research. Which is fascinating! It really is. So, go get the book! Or borrow mine). This is just about food, however. She also talks a lot about the environment and ways to reduce or remove toxins around us, but for now I'm going to focus on the food and exercise. I'll talk about the other stuff in Part III:
*High-fructose corn syrup
*Artificial sweeteners (aspartame is evil, yo. Be careful of it because it really does a lot of damage to the brain and your metabolism).
*Artificial coloring and preservatives
*Glutamates (MSG is the most evil one. But I think we all know that by now!)
*Starchy veggies (to just 2 or less a day)
*Tropical, dried, and canned fruits
*Excess soy (something that, in the name of health, has become somewhat of an epidemic and is now found in almost everything)
*Excess alcohol (wine is best. Luckily for me, I don't even drink!)
*Full-fat dairy and fatty meats (although don't go for the fat-free-full-of-artificial-stuff kind, either)
*Canned foods (unless it's your only option)
*Caffeine (Lucky me, again! Except for an occasional chocolate, this one's easy)
Look for foods that came from the ground or had a mother!
*Legumes (best choice is Red beans)
*Alliums (best choice is garlic)
*Berries (straw, blue, marion, rasp, etc.)
*Meat and eggs (organic and lean ONLY --Pacific Wild Salmon is best, as is grass-fed beef/dairy)
*Colorful fruits and veggies (best choice is tomatoes)
*Cruciferous veggies (best choice is broccoli)
*Dark-green leafy veggies (best choice is spinach)
*Nuts and seeds (best choice is walnuts and almonds)
*Dairy (best choice is non-fat Greek yogurt)
*Whole Grains (best choice is oats and barley)
(Best choices don't mean to eat only those...there are, of course, lots of varieties and choices in each one!)
*Exercise with food in your stomach (about 30-45 minutes after eating breakfast is best!)
*Eat every four hours
*Do NOT eat after 9PM
*No carbs at night (better to have proteins and fats --veggies and meats, etc.)
*Eat until you are full
*But not stuffed!
*Eat 40% carbs, 30% fat, 30% protein
*Take a vitamin supplement (multivitamin, calcium, and fish oil are best)
*Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night
*Move your body every day (she recommends one hour, five days a week of tough, sweating, exhausting exercise with strength and circuit training)
*Be good to yourself by:
- Detoxing your circle of friends (I'm lucky I don't have to do this one!)
- Ask for help
- Identify sources of stress and manage them
- Meditate (I loved this one because prayer and scripture-study are already important to me)
- Try other forms of exercise (like martial arts, yoga, etc.)
- Get a weekly massage (man, I want to do this one! That would ROCK.)
- Take your vacations (don't over-work yourself!)
WHAT I AM DOING:
I wish I could go completely organic off the bat. Financially, though, we can't do it right away. But I'm starting to get to that point. I'm now shopping more at places that carry organics (The Sunflower Farmer's Market is awesome! It's like the Trader Joe's of Utah) and I'm being very careful about the types of snacks I buy my kids. Here are some snacks I now have on hand for them:
*Kashi granola bars
*Annie's organic crackers
*Carrots with or without hummus
*Organic, whole-nine-grain bread (which is so good! Holy cow!) with organic honey
*Whole-wheat pita bread
I can't wait for the summer and farmer's markets and the loads of berries and citrus fruit I'm going to buy! For now I'm buying frozen berries, and they work well.
Some of the foods we've had this week:
*Chicken and rice soup (made with low-sodium organic chicken broth, brown rice, red potatoes, peppers, onions, garlic, chicken, oregano, and cilantro)
*Taco soup (beans, tomatoes, spices, garlic, onions)
*Lemon-herb shrimp and whole-wheat pasta
*Sandwiches or pitas with: veggies, pepper-jack and provolone cheese, avocado, and tomato-basil hummus
*Scrambled eggs with veggies
*My favorite breakfast: Organic non-fat Greek yogurt with craisins and whole walnuts. Yum!
What I'm going to do because of the organic expense:
*Grow my own garden. I'm actually going to do it this year! I've been researching ways to compost organically, and I'm also researching ways to begin a garden from scratch (I may go with the square-foot method). I'm going to start small, but I'm hoping to plant some tomatoes (a must), peppers, onions (salsa, baby!), zucchini (one plant), carrots, and hopefully some kind of lettuce. That way I'll KNOW it's organic, and it'll be cheaper (in the long run) and I'll be teaching my kids some cool responsibility. In fact, the girls are ecstatic about starting a garden! I just hope my fears don't get in the way. I'm really nervous.
The exercising is going well. I'm not up to an hour five-days-a-week, but I'll do that when the baby is older and I realistically can have more time (like when he's sleeping through the night).
I love all of this, dear reader. If it seems extreme to you, that's fine. You don't have to do it. I'm just sharing with you what I'm doing and why and whatever. I'm surprised at my resolve, but you know what? This way of eating is so much easier than counting calories or counting points (although I'm still a HUGE fan of Weight Watchers. They have a non-counting-points-plan called the Core Plan, and this stuff is similar to that). I actually think about what I'm going to eat, I carefully prepare it, and I enjoy knowing that my family is going to get the best types of food possible. No more putting poison and toxins into our mouths without knowing it anymore!
Knowledge is power, dear reader. It truly is.
P.S. Brent! Brandon is "mostly" on board. Meaning, he understands what I'm trying to do, he supports it, he'll eat whatever I prepare, but...well, you'll have to talk to him about it. :)