Monday, February 11, 2013

And so we begin........again.

     Obviously I didn't post over the holidays and that is mainly because my plans went to disaster. So instead of getting up and dusting myself off, I pigged out. This is what I do, self destruction. One bad choice and I throw in the towel and go all in. We traveled for the holidays, taking our own organic fruits and veggies with us. Once we reached our destination, all down hill! The fruits and veggies never got touched! I could feel my grip loosening on all I wanted to accomplish and then I just gave up and let go altogether.
     We visited my in-laws for Thanksgiving. I didn't want to offend my mother-in-law by not wanting to drink their tap water. I didn't want it to seem weird that I wasn't eating the turkey. And can I just say that no matter how much I didn't want to eat meat, smelling cooked meat just makes me salivate? Does it not for anyone? I've never seen what turkeys go through before slaughter or even a turkey farm. Even if someone where to video one I am sure they would have to go undercover to get to the nitty gritty. So I didn't have the image of abused cows or chickens in my mind when I smelled the turkey and so I gave in and ate it, and cookies, and bacon, and so on and so on!!!
     So if I screwed up my whole plan for Thanksgiving, I might was well screw up with Christmas too right? I mean there are only about 30 days in between. And that's what gets me, thirty days. Thirty days between two meals. That's really what it boils down to but we think of it as all one season! The parties, the cookie swaps, the ornament exchanges, the family/friend visits with all our favorite foods. Oh and then there is New Year's festivities. This is why, in September, everyone just decides to wait for January.
     So in mid-January I decided to watch the documentary, "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead". It was an eye-opener. In the documentary, Joe decides to do fresh fruit and vegetable juice for 60 days to help heal his body, naturally, from the inside-out. He did it!! Not only did he do it, but so did others in the film. So hubby and I decided to do a 10 day reboot. To say it was very hard is an understatement, but day 7 and hubby is down 12 lbs and I am down 9.5 lbs. We both feel great and I noticed hubby's skin looks clearer and is glowing (in a good way, not a toxic waste kind of way). Hubby still does not want to go veggie all the way but I plan to. My 6 yr old daughter also wants to go vegetarian now. We are researching recipes together to find out what she likes. So one coverted??? It's happening!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The First Week!


 I told my husband of my plans to convert the family to healthier eating. I didn't actually say "vegetarian". It's that whole 'break it to him gently' kind of thing. He agreed to healthier eating which pretty much means squeezing the grease of out of a burger before he eats it.

     My family and I went out shopping over the weekend. I didn't take it as a good sign when my husband was looking at a meat grinder attachment to our kitchen mixer but it's a work in progress and we are just getting started.

     I bought a lot of organic produce this week. My breakfasts consists of an avocado and quartered tomato drizzled with about a 1/4 tsp of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and some pepper. I thought it was going to be pretty hard to eat but I was pleasantly surprised. It was pretty good. I knew I would be hungry sooner than if I had eaten a big breakfast but it was pretty filling. I am working toward eating frequent small meals. I haven't been perfect in my eating and I kind of stressed out about it. I was forgetting a lot of things and that is when I realized I was becoming a little too obsessed with the whole healthier eating idea. All of my spare time was reading about food, alkaline food and the why grapefruits are better than apples. It got to be overwhelming. I had to slow down, take my time and learn to have fun with the changes. If my family sees me being stressed out about it, why would they want to do it?

     I told my daughter about eating less meat. She's 6. I told her about how cows are kept in chutes and get milked all day. I don't know how true that is but I know it's something like that. Anyway, she said it was sad but she couldn't give up cheese. Then she added that she loves ham too much to give it up. So maybe that will be her last meat to cut out, or maybe she won't. Like I said, I am not going to stress over it or make my family convert. A work in progress! (that is what I keep telling myself).

     So for this first week at working toward a new way of eating, we rented a water cooler. We get spring water which is more alkaline than tap or what is coming out of our filtered water from the refrigerator. I tested my purified water from the refrigerator with a pH strip and it was 6.8, acidic. I tested the spring water and it was 8.2, alkaline. Now I have read that 9.5 is the best for water but then I read to just add fresh lemon to your water and it makes it more alkaline. Anyone know if this is true?

     So we are drinking spring water, eating more organic fruits and vegetables but still eating meat. But I guess we need to add the good stuff and slowly omit the bad.

     Tonight, I made myself a wrap with avocado, tomato and alfalfa sprouts. I asked my husband if he would like one and he said, "Sure, but with a slice or two of ham and some cheese," followed by a chuckle. A work in progress.....

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Beginning The Process

      I am about to embark on a journey, a journey from meat eater to vegetarian. Vegan? Maybe. I know I should "go big or go home" but I am going into this knowing it is a process. I will take it one day at a time to one week at a time, one grocery list at a time. I know me and there is no other way for me to be successful than to take baby steps. So I have created this blog to chart my journey.
      I am not creating this blog to convince anyone else to eat the way we eat, just charting the journey. I pray that it does help those who are on the same journey.

       So where do I start? Let me tell you how I came to this conclusion that a drastic change needs to take place. (gradually, of course) After having my son in 2011, I fed him breast milk only. He had an allergy to dairy which meant all dairy products were off limits for me. How would I ever quit cream cheese? If it was in the house, I would lay awake at night, dreaming of what I could dip in it. Pretzel sticks, tortilla chips, fingers. But it was for the health and comfort of my son so I did it for him. I breast fed him for 7 months. My son seemed to be less sensitive to most of the foods I was slowly adding back in and was starting to supplement with formula. I went on a Slim Jim binge.Why? I do not know, especially when the first ingredient was mechanically separated chicken parts. Who reads that and still eats it? Well I did. I started having upper-right abdomen pain. An ultrasound for gallstones was negative. I had to have a HIDA scan done to check the function of my gallbladder. The HIDA scan is a nuclear medicine procedure. The information I received was conflicting as far as breastfeeding goes so I stopped breastfeeding for a week. My son would never go back. It was so sad for me because I wanted to breastfeed for a year. I only added some formula because he seemed so hungry all the time and I was afraid he was not eating enough. I knew he was my last baby and it saddened me to have to stop breastfeeding. The HIDA scan revealed my gallbladder was only functioning at 12%. I had pain no matter what I ate. Two days after Christmas, 2011, I had the gallbladder removed.  Now, you would think that it would be smooth sailing after that but no, I could no longer eat dairy, spicy foods and well, just about anything other than some vegetables and fruits. It seemed like everything I ate sent me in to an attack, attacks stronger than I had ever had before having the gallbladder removed. After a few months, I was able to slowly add some foods back in my diet but dairy was never a welcomed friend.

     A couple of weeks ago, my in-laws visited from out of town. I made my famous broccoli-cheese casserole. I was not sure if I should try it but I could not resist. I had also been drinking some soda and not much water. That night while climbing into bed, I came down with strong abdominal pains. "Great", I thought, "When am I going to realize that I am now lactose intolerant?", a common problem after gallbladder removal. The pain got worse and worse. I soon realized it was something more serious. The pain started on my lower left abdomen, eventually radiating around to my back and hip. My husband drove me to the ER. As I sat in a room at the ER, I suddenly thought I could end up on that show about people who did not know they were pregnant until they were giving birth! I was doing the same type of breathing and rocking back and forth to deal with the pain. I had to wait for a blood test to rule out pregnancy before they could give me pain medication. I am a person who is very sensitive to meds and hate taking pain medicine but I was pretty much begging for it. My angel of a nurse, Amber, rushed my blood work and got pain meds to me as fast as she possibly could. A CT scan revealed that I had five kidney stones, 3 on the left and two on the right. Before I left the hospital, the Dr told me that he gets stones often and his vice was diet Mountain Dew. It got me thinking, what sacrifices do we make just for taste? Once the taste goes away and that momentary happiness/comfort wears off, the rest is still traveling through our bodies, wreaking havoc on us at a cellular level. Just like trash does not just go away when the trash truck removes it from our property, it goes somewhere and has some type of effect.

      Sitting in the hospital bed, praying out loud for God to help me( which is something I never do. I am a private prayer usually), I realized that he has been trying to help me for a very long time.

1. I would eat or drink something and feel terrible afterwards.
2. I gained a lot of weight over the past few years.
3. I could not have dairy while breastfeeding.
4. My gallbladder failed due to diet.
5. My sugar was slightly elevated for a short period of time.
6. My mother was diagnosed with diabetes
7. Two uncles were diagnosed with diabetes
8. My cholesterol climbed to 210
9. I suffered from post partum anxiety
10. Heart palpitations aka PVC's. Told no more chocolate or caffeine.
11. Kidney stones

     So a whisper on change is becoming louder. I do not want to make God shout at me.

      I have to begin the change in diet now and teach it to the rest of my family. I am becoming a believer that food has more to do with preventive heath care than medicine does. I am not knocking modern medicine. We have come a long way in saving lives but how many of those diseases could be avoided if we control what we eat from the start?

My family and the challenges of changing the way we eat:
Hubby 39 - loves meat and eats a lot of Noah's Ark pizza ( you know pizza with ham, peperoni, sausage and ground beef? That's a Noah's ark pizza)

Me- 39 - lover of cheese, chocolate and Pepsi and bread! Love me some bread!

Daughter - 6 lover of mac and cheese and anything carbs with even more cheese

Son- 18 months, loves carbs and comes running when he hears the pantry door open. Hubby has recently oiled the door so it no longer makes noise :)

     I have told my family about this change I would like for us to make. I told each of them that the choice is theirs but I hope they will at least give it a try.  Hubby has agreed to meatless Mondays. He gave out a little sigh after that but I am hopeful he will stick with it.  My daughter says she loves cheese too much to give it up. This is going to be a chore but worth it!!

     I am a baby at learning what is the correct way to eat. So I hope you will embark along on this journey and stick with me when I get long winded, like now :)