Wednesday, August 25

Clean Up Your Diet - Get Rid of Scientific Food

I have always considered myself a pretty healthy person. I’m a personal trainer, I’ve taken more nutrition classes than your average doctor is required to complete, and I’ve always strived to follow whatever recent science has deemed the healthiest choice at the moment.

The funny thing about this though, is that deep down, I always knew something wasn’t right. So I started down a very long and frustrating path of adapting different “diets” into my life.

I followed a vegetarian diet off and on through out adolescence, and then chose to follow a strict vegan diet. During this time my skin cleared up, however, I lost quite a bit of energy, was always hungry, and started gaining weight. So, I did what most average teenage girls think to do, I restricted more and started following the Pritkin Diet, and then the Ornish Diet. Those flopped as well, and a few years later I tried the South Beach Diet, and then Atkins.

Still, something seemed off.

I couldn’t figure it out, but I knew I should not be turning my back on fruits and vegetables, or whole grains. Now, 16 years later, I think I’ve figured it out. Most people are aware of the sudden increase in obesity, heart disease and cancer over the last 100 or so years. Which led me to think, how were things different back then? Obviously people were much more active than we are now. Technology creates something new everyday which allows us to do less for ourselves – think about it, are moving stairs really that necessary? I think you get where I’m going with this.
Well how about our food…I’m pretty sure Twinkies and vegetable based fake butter spreads were not around back then, and even if they were (or something similar), they most definitely were not consumed on a regular basis. Read the back of one of these labels, I can almost guarantee you don’t know what all the ingredients are.

Here’s a rule of thumb, if you can’t pronounce it, it’s probably not good for you. To make a long story short, the majority of mainstream food now contains loads of additives, preservatives, chemicals, bleaches, dyes and poisons. In order to clear out the “junk” from my family’s food, I’m making small adjustments each month to move towards a healthier lifestyle.

It has been proven time and again that in order for something to become a habit, you need to do it for at least 21 days – so I think a month should be suitable. I plan on creating a step-by-step plan to follow, and I will post these here for you to do the same if you decide to take the same path our family did.

I strongly recommend reading the book Real Food by Nina Planck – she does an excellent job at covering all the details about figuring out what real food really is, how to go about obtaining it now, as well as clearing up all of the “what’s healthy for you” confusion and dispelling some major myths our government has had us believing for years. Her book, as far as my research can tell me, is accurate, and it is well documented.

As I said before, I have always considered myself pretty healthy, so I was shocked at the difference I felt almost immediately once I cut out most of the additives. To give you a quick overview of what were doing – we stopped drinking everything but filtered water and organic whole milk (occasionally we’ll buy 100% OJ, or pressed apple juice to add to smoothies), I started making all of our breads and crackers by hand using high quality whole grain flour (really not that time consuming – I bake everything for a month in one night and freeze the extras). We snack on fresh fruit and vegetables, or homemade muffins, crackers and biscuits. Pretty much everything refined is off-limits – but there will be more on this later.

It's actually much easier than I had anticipated, it just requires adapting our old recipes, and a little planning ahead.

Within two weeks, I was sleeping better at night (and needing less of it), I had a TON of energy, my mood improved, my skin started clearing up and the color of my skin improved (other people have noticed this as well). My 5 year old’s attention span increased noticeably and his moods have improved. I could go on and on and on – and maybe I will another day, but I can honestly say I really believe this is one of the smartest decisions I have ever made.

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