First thing this morning I was reading this link and number 10 could not be more true! Well they are all true but number 10 is how I am feeling. I have in the past 60 days or so cut out or changed the way I have been eating again, radically. Last year when I was so sick and thought I had stomach cancer (which I did not, drama much?) I felt like changing my diet was akin to death. I did NOT want to change. I fought it angrily and unhappily. I wanted to keep eating the stuff I ate because it was easy and surely it was healthy because I know how to be healthy and there is no way I was going to change, that. is. all. The truth is I was not being healthy for me.
Eating a different way is made harder because one has a family. I felt like making two different meals was (a) a pain the ass and (b) absurdly expensive and (c) ohmagawd I am tired already now I have to make two meals? Honestly? It is more work and I often make stuff for myself and tend to make a less difficult meal for everyone else. I feel selfish for doing that. Annie's organic mac and cheese for them and a meal for me that took me 75 minutes to prepare. The kids hate my food. M Bug bitches about the way things taste. I did make a huge shift recently but really most everything still tastes the same. Oh well. I am working on just sucking up the criticism and trying really hard to let it go. I feel like in the end the more I do to improve what we are eating the better off they will be in the end.
Missy over the years has reacted to the coloring in foods - red dyes in particular. At first I just thought the hives she would get were related to some cold or virus she had at the time but then it kept happening over and over again. She is not outright allergic to it and it has seems to have improved however I keep thinking of her tiny body riddled with hives from eating red M&Ms and I feel like crap for that.
I also believe that when M Bug eats too much refined sugars and certain type of additives in foods he gets super moody, almost aggressive and/or hyper. I have literally watched him transform from calm and cool to a wild beast in a few minutes after eating junk food. It is sort of like a parenting nightmare and while parents joke about it - oh look sugar rush... ha ha. I have sort of come to dread it because he has to come down off that sugar high and it is usually really awful. I mean like he is a wreck. Now I know there are other factors in this and very well he could just be tired and she really could just be having a viral reaction to being sick but...
The things I have learned in the past few months are that we, as in the United States of America, allow a ton more additives and preservatives into our foods that other countries do not. Those countries do not allow them because (1) they cause cancer and (2) they are harmful and disruptive to our bodily systems which effects not just out internal body but our environment (think of your waste - any time you use the potty that is your bodies way of off loading things it does not need and anything in your waste goes down the drain and into our the ground thus contaminating everything.)
I have dialed back on the processed foods a lot. If I do buy something I go for the organic alternative despite the cost. I hate that in some ways because my grocery bill has once again jumped up to a crazy amount. I am still mostly avoiding bread - especially pretend whole wheat breads - the kind I thought was SO good for me but it turns out are just as bad as buying white bread. I have made a huge shift toward non GMO foods. I am working hard on switching to a more plant based diet. I have really cut back on refined sugars (oaf that one is hard. I mean like epically difficult.) I drink tea when I get a craving for something sweet which seems odd since herbal tea really is not sweet but it both hydrates me and keep me from thinking about sweets and all that I want to eat (plus Mint and Ginger teas help with my tummy troubles). I see an acupuncturist regularly and take all of her strange Chinese herbal remedies even though I have no idea what I am taking they work and I am sad that she is talking about retiring but there will be someone else I am sure, I have faith in that. I have no more allergies - like none at all no more itching throat, I can breath normally and I have zero trouble with my sinuses something that has been a non stop issue for the past two decades.
Really the point of this entirely too long post is that I have seen a huge difference in a lot of things which is WHY I am even writing this - PRAISE BE (#10 on that list way up there.) I have lost weight - something I have struggled to do for five years. I have wanted to lose 5-10 lbs for several years but never could. Suddenly magically the weight is slowly melting away. MAGICAL. I have had acne that has plagued me for years and especially the past few years it has become worse and worse. I thought that had to do with changing hormones. I joked that I was going through my second puberty. I was mortified by it (totally an ego thing I know...) Magically it has dissipated. I get normal acne around my period but not the month long raging acne sessions with welts that would come out of no where and ache for days at a time. My sleep had improved. My bowl movements (ahem) have returned to normal. I am less anxious/depressed. My anxiety was become debilitating. Like I was fearful to go out of the house some days. I have more energy and feel less dragging exhaustion. I feel down right peppy most days!
Now there are a pile of other factors - my job has been better. I made the decision to be more happy and work through issues as they come up rather then fling them into a pile and hope that pile did not fall over on top of me at some point in the future. I have all but stopped drinking alcohol of any kind. I have changed up my exercise routine to include a more varied schedule of events including weight lifting. I have been working on short periods (three to five minutes) of meditation. I think most importantly rather that looking at this in an angry and unhappy fashion I have embraced it. I have done things that I know are good for me and the results are overwhelming. I see what a huge difference living actively is doing for me versus the way I was living (and eating) which is to say passively.
I still have areas to work on. I am working on continued awareness of my feelings and how I treat myself (being aware of what my internal monologue is really - my natural inclination is negative btw, working on positive) as well as stress. Also, the kiddos are a whole different ball of wax - I need to take initiative in that realm soon because what I am currently doing is not working. I need to take initiative in one area of how I take care of myself with regards to sleep - how much I get and when I go to sleep and how not sleeping enough is really effecting my daily life and productivity as a human being.
The take away is baby steps - make small changes versus huge grand sweeping changes. Stand back and assess what you can do but if you choose to do it do it with an open and happy heart or else it will all be for naught and you will bang your proverbial head on the wall (or door or cement ground or whatever other painful place one can bang their heads.) These changes for me have been magical and yet not. I mean they are basic things. Things that when I really drilled down I realized I was not doing well and mostly I had fallen into old bad habits and/or easy bad habits.
We have radically changed the foods we ate as children. SO I fear that most people think 'well I ate those M&Ms as a kid and I grew up to be just fine' BUT the sad fact is that the M&Ms (or insert any foods in that sentence really) we ate as kids are radically different from the kind my kids are eating. It is troublesome. GMOs were introduced into our food system in 1996 (coincidentally that was around the time I started having massive allergy related issues - two visits to the ER because processed foods I ate got me so sick my throat closed shut on me!) and the US does not regulate the kinds of additives/preservatives the way other countries do. We have seen a rampant increase in GMOs and other things we should not be consuming in our diets with little to no scientific data about how it is effecting our genetic make-up and overall what is doing to us and our environment. Corn is not corn any more - it is super corn (and not like wee little corn on the cobs running around wearing tiny little capes to save the day...) in fact super corn may just be ruining your day every day.
Just be mindful. Ignore the expense. Start small. Think big. Give it time (6-8 months). Be strong. Let me know if it changes anything in your life! Praise BE!