Thursday, February 14, 2013

Diet Changes Needed

I have suffered sinus problems for years... Sometimes they are better than others, but right now my sinuses are flaring up. I know that the biggest problem isn't my sinuses, but my eating habits.

Lately, my ears have been hurting, too. Not in a typical ear infection type way, but hurting nonetheless.

I'm a smart girl. I've done a lot of research into foods- good and bad. However, I find it so hard to consistently live with what I know! My weight is a big issue and something that I have struggled with for as long as I can remember. I know the answer- eat healthier, exercise. And I can do that for a while and then something happens and I find myself right back where I started.
Rice chips and hummus- Yummy snack that IS Gluten/Dairy free!
I also know how foods play a part in behavioral problems, the ability to focus, and many diseases. Way back in the 80's my brother was thought to have ADD (or maybe it was ADHD... I don't remember). Anyway, my parents didn't want to have him put on any meds and so our family doctor and my parents began an elimination diet. Long story short, turns out that he was allergic to- well- a few things- but what really stuck out was the artificial flavors and dyes. The boy would become totally uncontrollable if he consumed a red lollipop, but when we watched what he ate he was simply an energetic, full of life, typical BOY! I've seen the changes with my own kids.... When we eat a crappy diet full of JUNK some of them become more moody, more uncontrollable. When we eat the way God intended everyone is simply full of energy, but manageable. There IS a difference.
Gluten free mac-n-cheese and gluten free chicken tenders means that Faith can eat the same thing her siblings eat!
I've seen studies and heard testimonies prove how eating a better diet can help with learning disabilities- no, they aren't gone, but the child is able to focus and perform better.

I know the truth. What you eat is very important for your health and wellbeing!

Last year, God really worked in my heart and a lot of things changed in our home as a result. From what we wore, to what we watched, to what we listened to- it was all changed. We became more and more aware of things as we listened to the Holy Spirit's promptings. As parents, we became more focused on HOW to parent God's way- even if it meant standing out and taking a stand!
No soy! Soy is NOT healthy!!!! These lovelies will help in my cooking/baking- keeping things dairy free!
This year, God has really been working in my heart as far as nutrition. I have the "head knowledge", but now it's time to really put it into practice. Two books that have really been jumping out at me- information wise- is Trim Healthy Mama (my review) and Nourishing Traditions. I really don't believe there is just one book that is the "know all" book of healthy living, but these two books have opened my eyes to a few things that I had overlooked. One of them being in relation to grains. Grains are part of God's food groups, but that doesn't mean we should be consuming them as often as we are or in the way that we are. The truth is that today's grains are a LONG ways away from the grains back in Jesus' day. Long ago I made the switch to whole-grain- 100% whole wheat pastas, etc... I avoided words like "enriched flour" and only baked with unbleached white or whole wheat flours. Then I fell off the bandwagon and bought whatever- partly due to a lack of funds- partly due to lack of trying on my part. I have tried to live by The Maker's Diet, but had overlooked even what Jordan Rubin had to say about grains. Apparently.... we are to be limiting them! Yes, they are okay to eat- occasionally- if prepared in the right way (soaked anyone?), but also to make sure they aren't the refined white crap! The other area that my eyes are just opening is with sugar. Yes, I know sugar is bad.... but it tastes oh so good! Yet, THM and NT both point out how the glucose is ruining our health! Refined sugar is a huge no-no. I've said it before, I do not agree with everything in THM- they do talk about low-fat this and that, but the overall concept is a good one.
No time to bake, but this is gluten, dairy, and soy free! Good alternative- especially if you already have some loaves of wheat bread in the freezer that is needing to be used!
Imagine the bells going off in my head (ding, ding, ding, I win a prize!) when I started researching my overall fatigue (adrenal problems?), sinus issues (wheat/sugar/dairy), and my daughter's learning disability and tummy problems (wheat/sugar/crap?). Oh yeah- both the hubby and I need to lose weight and I have four children I want to grow up healthy and strong!
Healthy frozen meals DO exist, you just have to search for them!
Okay God.... I'm getting the point. 2013 is going to be able changing our eating habits? Maybe. Time will tell. I do know this- the timing kinda bites. There is SO much chaos and confusion going on right now. Plus, there's a lot of traveling in store in the coming months.... Now isn't really the best time to start revamping and learning how to eat better, but it's now or never. Maybe God knows that my downfall in the past years has always been life and stress so if I can figure it out DURING life and stress.....

Start small and go from there.....
-Begin looking into wheat-free/gluten-free alternatives to see if it helps
-Begin a refined sugar-free lifestyle
-Begin finding healthier dairy alternatives (store-bought milk really isn't all that good for you....)

-Be firm (and crazy) with a NO DYE or HFCS policy!

When I went shopping yesterday I was able to find several options to help in this transition. Definitely more lean protein, fruits, and veggies, but the kids still eat sandwiches and homemade lunchables from time to time. We enjoy waffles for breakfast and the occasional chocolate chip cookie. So yes, I bought some gluten-free flours and even a few premade items- but that's my reality right now!
I am not a fan of someone going "gluten free" just because, but right now I want to heal myself. I've started a food diary to help me in this process. While I am not looking at replacing all my normal items with "different" ones, I am looking at making this livable. And right now I can't live without chocolate!
We are HUGE fans of Enjoy Life because they ARE nut free, but now because they are also DAIRY and GLUTEN free!
New brand in my store- not dairy-free- but gluten free. Sometimes you need shortcuts.
 Baby steps.... That's where we're at. Too many changes at once is just setting myself up for failure.
Are you feeling like a change is needed with your families eating habits? Have you made a big change before? Any tips or advice?



Becky said...

Dear Erika~
I have had many struggles with food over the years (I am 53) and have tried many 'diets'. I think my biggest mistake was doing the low-fat thing, which is, of course, high-carb. Another pregnancy and few years later and I was diagnosed with type II diabetes. I have worked at it for the last 10 years...sometimes being really good diet-wise for months on end, only to reach a point and throw it all away again. I finally figured out that adrenal fatigue played a big role in my dietary choices: when exhausted I did not care WHAT I ate, as long as it was plenty sugary! And as soon as I was off the diet-wagon my weight would balloon back up.
My weight (and A1c) has fluctuated over the years (mostly up).
Two years ago I went to an Integrative Medical clinic for seasonal allergies so bad that I could barely function for 6 weeks. They strongly encouraged testing for food allergies/sensitivities via a IgG blood test.
I got off of the reactive foods, lost about 15 #, and continued to fluctuate on how well I stayed with it.
Then, this past fall, I had the opportunity to get a new book for the cost of shipping. Book looked good. I thought the author made sense.
The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin has been a great boost to my efforts to get my health back. This is a short-term diet to get OFF of the most highly inflammatory foods and then test to see what you react to. Three weeks of STRICT adherence is very doable!
My hubby and both daughters (16 & 22)and I are doing it together.
In the first week my hubby STOPPED SNORING. (he had the shake-the-bed-apnea) He has lost about 25# to date.
Both daughters have slimmed down, feel much better, and have seen improvements in their cognitive challenges (learning disabilities).
I have lost about 20 # since mid-Nov and my A1c is almost normal.
It had been SO MUCH FUN being able to shop in other than "plus-size"! We have taken many loads to Goodwill, then go in and find nice things to replace the 'too big'.
I believe the key to it all is understanding that gluten/wheat and dairy are actually Addictive. My 22 yo found out the hard way that even a little bit of gluten set off her cravings like crazy.
This has also been good in that I have discovered a food sensitivity that the blood work did not find: EGGS! (the reaction was not pretty: I became a volcano of anger!)
So, to summarize, we have lost weight, improved sleep, more energy, moods are level and light, much less snoreing, better ability to think clearly....all from getting off of foods that we react to. (BTW, I can tell when hubby eats something he shouldn't...SNORE!!)

Erika said...

Thanks Becky for sharing your story! What inspiration!


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