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Sunday, January 29, 2012

A healthy journey

"I decided to start a new, to strip away what I had been taught." Georgia O'keefe

I know some of you have been following me on facebook and you have noticed that my posts are no longer about cupcakes, desserts and cookies. Why is that you ask?
  If you are like 99% of Americans who fall into the trap of  saying,"I'm going to change my life this year" You may have made a new years resolution and you may have given up already.But it's never to late to pick yourself up and dust yourself off, and start again. This is what happened to me. I was always a very thin child, and then a teen... and as many of you know after college, I began to eat more sweets, sweets became my downfall. I ate for comfort. My grandmother, Frannie who is now 85 is a very health conscious person, and she purchased me many books over the years about juicing, eating a colorful diet of fruits and vegetables. I have always loved vegetables... when I would go to my dad's parents as a child they would have tons of vegetables including bitter brocoli rabe.. and I would eat it all. My problem was I didn't put enough good food into my diet.
  So I decided that it was time to start eating healthy. I saw someone on facebook that I knew talking about  weight loss and healthy food a lot.. so I began to read her posts. She was a women working for TLS weight loss solutions but she was changing the field and not relying on the shakes and teaching people how to cook and add vegetables raw and cooked to every meal. It sounded intriguing.
In order to get her 24 hour services and support you had to purchase a "kit". When I hear purchase a kit.. I usually get a bit sceptical but she had a tutorial on youtube explaining all the vitamins you would take and what was included in the kit and why. I already take vitamins.. but I liked the idea of a powdered vitamin that enters your blood stream instantly.. so I did something extreme... I had no income coming in, and I had no way to pay the money for this kit, so I sold a piece of old gold.. I had... It was the best thing I have ever done for myself. Now, I am on a life long journey of health.... So I started with a 7 day detox... NO, I did not have to drink gross stuff or starve myself. I ate nothing but vegetables raw or cooked for 7 days.. No protein, oils, sugars, coffee.. I DID it with flying colors.. and I felt so much healthier, lighter... and happy. Turned out I lost 8 lbs doing that. So Stacey Abreu my health coach.... challenged me and some others to a  3 more week challenge.... to add in protein but now starches.... to see who is the "biggest loser." She has provided prices... and some meal plans for us... but we must exercise 30 minutes or more 3-4 times a week.
While I began to pull out old vegetarian cookbooks out... I stumbled across Engine 2 diet( Rip Esselstyn).... which is not a diet...but a lifestyle change.... and I learned a lot... about food, protein and calories... I watched a documentary entitled Forks over Knives if you have not seen it... do yourself a favor. I realized what Stacey was teaching me was info... that Forks over Knives was presenting and Engine 2 diet. I have not decided if I am going to become a vegetarian... after this experience... but it is not necessary to loose weight and eat right and exercise. I have lost a lot more weight from just keeping sugar and grains away.

 So I stock my fridge with lots of raw vegetables and fruits... Here are some of the things I have made and learned.
Even my son has been eating better....
I am having a heart healthy valentine get together and I am will be serving some heart shaped healthy food and my health coach will be sharing recipes and allowing people to try the powdered vitamins and shakes.
I usually eat a lot of nuts and I learned nuts are to be used in moderation.. only a small handful a day....
My son loves to be read to, although he is in first grade and should start reading to me... We have been rereading some books we have about vegetables and fruits.. this is a favorite..
Here are some of the books I have been reading to myself...
I get bored easily and not like I have nothing to do bored.. more like I like variation.. and so I like finding ways to serve vegetables... that are different.  So... I have borrowed books, gone to the library and purchased a few... to help me navigate my journey.
Here are some of the dishes I have made this month.....
detox soup... so delicious...
the food is so colorful...
I did find out that that I was using food  as my only reward in life... things I looked forward to were always food. Food was clouding my thinking and I was using food to hide what I was truly missing or needing.... a void... that needed filling... The taste of sugar releases endorphins that calm and relax us, and offer a natural "high" sweets, just tasted good to me, and that preference got reinforced by me rewarding  myself with a sweet treat .. and I craved it even more.
  I am still craving chocolate, but not like before....
IN an article my health coach gave me," Humans are sensation seekers, why do you think that pop rock candies are a hit... We crave sensation, pleasure, and something we can't name we reach for a snack. But it never really works...Perhaps for the moment, that initial rush of pleasure hits the mark...
 The hard truth is what we are really looking forward is not found in our cupboards or our refrigerator. I have had to open a private Pandora's box and begin to explore  that it might not be food, but something bigger... Difficult and sensitive issues surfaced, and I have been able to really look at them.... I am going slowly...

I have changed my perspective...I have been looking at the negatives in life...and now I am going to be looking at the positives and this detox and now.. life change has been just the push I needed.I call the shots....I am going to deal with my stress or situation in a healthier more ordinary fixes or band aids for me.

Even if you think what I am doing is extreme.... think about trying to eat a more low-GI diet.. ( google it)
You will thank me later...and so will your heart....
 I I sure I want to eat that.....if I am stressed ....

Follow me on a journey.....
When I started this path.... I had to take a lot of the food we have in the house... and I had to get rid of it.. so it would not tempt me... My son and husband's "bad" food is in another room in the house.. so it's out of sight out of mind..
My fridge looks like this now....
lots of fruits and vegetables...fat free cheese and milk for now.. almond milk too.. water and seltzer and healthier choices to snack on...
I have made vegetables I haven't made in years.... and am loving it.
So the message I am driving home is....inspiring ... it's a health message.... I am not a doctor.... but I think we are all suffering from what Rip Esselstyn calls Western disease...and I want to dodge that bullet. I am committed myself to do this... eat mostly a plant based diet.... and exercise.. and not use food to fill a void... I will let you follow me as I share my trials, tribulations and triumpts.

I know we are busy and our world is filled with places to go and things to do.. we have children, husbands, friends... and we don't have time to prepare food. In order to succeed at this meal planning ahead is important and we need to think more about this

"Eat with love what's grown with love, prepared with love and served with love....."

"preparing food is at once child's play and adult joy.. and done with care, it is an act of love."
Craig Claiborne

I leave you with a few prayers I have been using....

This food is the gift of the whole Universe- the earth, the sky and much hard work.
May we eat in mindfulness, so as to be worthy to receive it.
May we transform our unskilled states of mind, and learn to eat with moderation.
May we take only foods that nourish us and prevent illness.
We accept this food to realize the path of understanding and love.

God, bless this food so that it brings vitality and energy to fulfill thy mission and serve humanity.
God, bless this food so that we remain aware of thee within and without.
God, bless this food so that we love all and exclude none.
Bless, those who have provided this food, who have prepared this food, and who eat this food.

1 comment:

Ella said...

I love all the rainbow inspiration over here! I love all you have said and shared. With thyroid disease, I should eat at least 4 cups of veggies a day. And I'm not~ I think you are on your way! Use art to feel that void, it really does help ;D

Thanks for visiting me. I have had a lot of sinus issues, another symptom of thyroid. I need to go back to the DR... ick! Take Care and I love that you and yours son are doing this. There is a web site called 5aday, with coloring pages and fun stuff.

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