January 29, 2013

adventures in paleo

It's new(ish) to us, but I know the trend has been around a while. PALEO.

Basically it's cutting out the processed c.r.a.p. that is so prevalent in our foodology today (you like that word? I think I just made it up) and eating whole, unprocessed, natural foods the way our ancestors did.  Technically, you should eat only grass-fed meats, pasture-raised chicken/eggs, yada yada. . . but we can't quite do that yet.

Last February I quit drinking sodas cold turkey and starting drinking only water and coffee during the day. There was a short period where I drank some all-natural soda, but after a couple months, I didn't even like it anymore. I couldn't stand the taste.

(Do whatever research you want, it all shows that soda is bad for you. Bottom line is--it will contribute to your declining health if you continue to drink it and there are absolutely NO downsides to quitting it.)

So anyways, I'm done with that and I don't miss it at all. I'm not even tempted by the "icy cold refreshment" at the checkout line at the grocery store. Or the "drink this and you'll be cool like this supermodel/athlete/popstar/person-of-the-moment" ads with not-so-subliminal messages on TV. I'm not going to apologize for tooting my own horn here. If you quit, I'll toot your horn too!

Maybe that came out wrong. . . but you get the point!

Then last fall, the hubs and I started really trying to cut out junk food. Sugary treats are out (much to my donut-loving husband's dismay); extra carbs for me are out-- and I've already seen an effect on my blood sugars (not assisted by my doctor's admonition to "eat more fruit!")--and I've added a Green Pastures brand fermented cod liver oil supplement to my daily regimen (no, it does not taste like anything, for you Pickies out there).

I'm definitely not saying we're perfect at this yet. It's a journey. A long, long journey. We still have nights where the hubs and I look at each other and can tell that we both need a chocolate fix. I get a little discouraged when my blood sugar tanks and the only thing I can do to get it back in the safe zone is fruit juice. (Or chalk-o tablets--bleeeeeck.)
But will this journey be worth it? You bet your sweet, sugary, soda-butt it will. Some journey's in life we don't get to choose, but everyone can choose to have better health. (Preachy much? Maybe. But if you're offended, then you most definitely need to hear it. In fact, read it all again. Then go do your own research and take a long hard look at your lifestyle.)

Here are some other things we've tried:
  • roasted eggplant {fail}
  • roasted cauliflower {epic success--J even tried it with some chipotle seasoning last time. Yum!}
  • spaghetti squash {just last night, actually--success!}
  • "ice cream" {fail--so far only one attempt was made. I'm looking forward to my next attempt, because this has potential!}
  • zucchini bites {success! They're even better the next day!}
  • bone broth {this one is not as cut & dry, but I would rate it a success}
 Through my mom, I discovered Practical Paleo and read it through almost in one sitting. This book is great! We're not ready to attempt one of the 30 Day Meal Plans yet, but we'll be working our way through the recipes. My next "to do" is baconaise. . . .

I'm reading labels. I've tossed several things in our pantry or fridge that just weren't good for us (sorry honey, but not really :) ). I've put several things back on the shelf at the grocery store, even things I used to always buy, because I realized there were things & chemicals in it that I don't really want to ingest. Basically, if the ingredients list is longer than the nutrition facts, don't buy it. And if you don't know what an ingredient is, it's probably not good for you so don't buy it. Simple.

I've also discovered a lot of information on the Weston A Price Foundation website. There are probably hundreds of articles on there about every health topic imaginable. There are sections devoted to women's health, men's health, children's health, dentistry, obesity, homeopathy, etc. I won't tell you everything because I think you should discover for yourself.

A few things that are helpful for me {and you!} to keep in mind:
  1. Your body will take time to heal naturally. It won't be fixed overnight. Our quick-fix, immediate-gratification culture does not understand this and it takes time to change this mindset! 
  2. What works for someone else might not work for you! That being said, don't give up on the whole idea just because one thing doesn't work! It is a p.r.o.c.e.s.s. Say it with me class, "PROCESS!" Grains don't work for me right now. But if you can eat natural, organic grains then go for it. Yogurt is working for me right now. But if you can't tolerate dairy, don't eat/drink it because *I* said it's good for you. If you haven't liked a vegetable in the past, find a new recipe for it and try it again. I didn't think I would like cauliflower or spaghetti squash either. Figure it out for yourself. Which kind of leads me to point #3. . . 
  3. Do not depend on others. to. tell. you. anything. This means everyone from your doctor (ESPECIALLY!) to your parents to your spouse. Do your own research, apply the gray matter that God gave you between your ears, and be smart. Do not take anything at face value in this world or you will be in for a lot of hurt. Be continually devoted to learning. You might not always like what you learn and it will most likely be hard to apply to your life but why wouldn't you want to know? Why wouldn't you want to be the best you can be? (I'm seeing a huge parallel to our spiritual walk here.) Bottom line, as a Christian, we are called to that.
I know this is kind of a long post, but I hope something I've said here will inspire someone to start their own journey. Even if you don't decide to start a paleo journey like we have, I hope some of the links and websites I've shared will help you find answers.

(In other news, I started this post about 11 a.m. this morning and it's now almost 4 p.m. Work much??)

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