Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Food Fanatic

I did awesome over the weekend. I stayed raw till dinner both Saturday and Sunday and by Monday (though coming down with a cold) felt more energized. The cold hasn't even been too bad. I'm convinced the morning green lemonade has boosted my immune system. Yesterday I ate all whole foods, though was only raw in the morning. Today I ate well until a planned dinner out at my daughter's elementary school parents night. S was so excited about eating in the cafeteria with me, I decided to go ahead and buy a ticket and eat the processed crap they were offering. Well, big mistake. Literally within a couple minutes of finishing dinner my brain went fuzzy and I had a headache. It mostly had to do with the caffeine in the soda, but the hot dog, chips and blondie didn't help. And of course S completely crashed and went into hysterics when we got home. Her teacher gave her a hot chocolate packet for attending, but there was no way she was going to get another sugar rush after that dinner!

So, there ya go. Because it was a planned activity I'm not worried. I'll be back to eating well tomorrow starting with my green juice. I'll also be making a trip to the grocery store to get more produce.

Did you see Oprah today!? It was so interesting. Dr. Oz was on and he was talking about all the new medical marvels that will extend one's life. The craziest was being able to grow your own organ in a lab in a matter of weeks. Then it can be transplanted! Or is that a transplant? I'm not sure, but it's crazy. There was a man who lost the tip of his finger in an accident and his genius doctor brother gave him this powder substance that he applied to the wound every day and within a month or so had grown back his finger tip...nail included! The substance prevented the wound from healing and so the body sent signals for new cells to grow. Amazing. There were also people on the show who talked about their Calorie Restriction diet. It's basically what I'm doing and what many raw or mostly raw foodists do every day. They eat a lot of produce and nuts and are about 80% raw and consume fish or chicken at dinner. They basically cut out the bad stuff: flour, sugar, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, processed food.

The sad part was watching the wealthy 85 year old because he had so much produce and could just juice a ton of it every day. Most Americans can't afford to do that. One green lemonade every morning is about all we can do. The lifespans of the privileged will continue to grow, but the underprivileged are going to be completely left behind. Learning to eat differently than the SAD (Standard American Diet) is difficult and it's more difficult in this society! I'm hoping it will be easier when we move to Baltimore. There are more natural food stores for sure and hopefully I'll meet people who eat the way I am trying.

Thanks to G's allergy I started teaching myself how to bake vegan and cook vegan. So that is what really got me on the path to eating differently. I tell ya, Agave is what is getting me over sugar! That and maple syrup and honey. Who needs sugar with those three things!?

I finally got my pants taken in. That was difficult to do because I just couldn't believe I had really lost so much weight or that it would stay off. I felt thin before, but now it's a new me. It's similar to my body in high school, but because of age and babies there are differences. There are also differences because I exercise regularly now, whereas in HS I did not. I'm feeling very vain these days because I'm liking my body. I look in the mirror and I'm amazed. Even my butt is getting lifted again. I've been exercising fairly regularly for about 2.5 years straight. It's always been my goal to be fit and healthy and I'm sort of achieving it. I really value my mobility. If I were in an accident and couldn't walk or had pain I would be devastated. Who wouldn't be? Every time I exercise I'm glad I'm able to.

Next month (probably) we're moving in with my parents to be near Baltimore and my new summer job. My mom told me she wants to enjoy green lemonade with me in the morning and hopes I'll be a good influence. It'll be difficult because there is too much processed food in that house! Maybe we can work on that, Mom!

My kids eat Triscuits, Ritz crackers, Sun Chips, Teddy Grahams, pretzels, corn chips and natural popcorn. That's it. That's the only snack food they get. The processed food they eat regularly is chicken nuggets. They eat natural cereals, whole wheat bread and tortillas, nut butters, oatmeal, whole grains, brown rice, fruit, and vegetables. G is non dairy. S eats eggs and some cheese. It's very simple, but the variety lies in the fruits and vegetables. They eat salad. They love green juice. Their palates, especially G's, are very different from mine as a kid. Though, because I am the oldest and was an only child for 3.9 years, I did eat very much like my children eat when I was very little, and I remember loving granola cereal and mandarin oranges. Though as I got older we had more and more convenience foods and I ate a lot of junk food, especially through my teen years. Family dinners were always very good and well-balanced nutritionally, but Little Debbie and Tasty Cakes made up a big part of my diet.

Natalia Rose says to always let your kids participate in the food fun at parties and other gatherings. Hopefully this will allow them to not feel deprived, but to see how they feel after eating a big piece of cake and as they get older they will realize they feel bad after eating sugar and processed foods and won't choose them regularly. My oldest, S, who is 6 has a large bone structure. She was off the charts for some of her younger years and is now still in the 90th percentile. She's been described as being built like a brick. Maybe her muscles are large too. I imagine what she would be like if I fed her all fattening and processed foods. She loves food and she loves to cook and bake with me. She might tell you her favorite food is cheeseburgers. I don't sugar coat why she eats differently than kids at school. I try not to talk down about the food THEY eat, but I do tell her about the benefits of whole wheat bread compared to white bread. Though, when her teacher told me she will accept food from other kids at snack time even though she knows she's not supposed to, I didn't stand up for why she eats the way she does. Her teacher told me she thinks S is envious of the snacks the other kids have and just wants things like doritos and cheese puffs. I guess I didn't want to hurt the teacher's feelings, so I just said, okay, well, I can send her some chips more often. (That means sun chips, though!) What I could have said is, well, I don't like her to have foods that have artificial dyes in them. Maybe in the future I'll be more upfront about that. It could make someone else think. So many kids have behavior problems that could be helped (not cured) with a change in diet.

While substituting I witnessed a little girl in second grade who had mild autism eating white bread PB&J and cheetos for lunch. From what I've read and heard, one of the first steps a parent should take to help an autistic child is to cut out all artificial coloring, and try a gluten and dairy-free diet. I realize that can seem difficult and when I was told I'd have to avoid allergens while BFing I was overwhelmed, but I found solutions. I even discovered how to make homemade chocolate, though that uses confectioners sugar which I avoid now, except for birthday cake.

This has been a long rambling of my thoughts on food these days. Fortunately, I buy only what I want to have in my diet, so when it comes to choosing meals at home, it doesn't require that much thought. I just have to keep Will from bringing crap into the house. I know my reading and info gathering has influenced him because I tell him about all the stuff I find interesting in my health books and he'll bring up things later on and basically agrees and supports me in my change and how I want to feed the kids. I just can't handle it when he buys French bread or frozen pizza. I love that stuff!


mommaladybug said...

I'll have to take you to Trader Joe's and MOM's (my organic market) when you move up here. I'm sure you've heard of TJ, and MOM's is a new place that I LOVE LOVE LOVE.

Lauren said...

Sounds good!