You want to look forward to your days, right?
You want to be healthy.
You want to be productive.
You want to get pregnant.
Man, you want to have energy to manage a baby should you get pregnant.
I’ve been there.
And now I’m here.
Better health, much happier, plenty of energy.
And enjoying my time with my great kids.
Recently I wrote about My Big Message Of Life.
If you have any kind of health issue – mental or physical –
The first thing to do is change your diet.
And a few people wanted to know what to change.
So I thought I’d write about it.
In case it helped.
You know, just in case you’re one of those women who want to feel good.
And currently don’t.
You may be one of those lucky, lucky people who are able to simply cut out swathes of food items and not look back.
I am not one of those people.
For years I was addicted to my food.
I had trouble controlling my consumption of several in particular.
Once I started, I couldn’t stop.
They were ‘trigger’ foods for me.
When I started this, my original goal was simply to gain control.
Too many times I felt food had the better of me.
Changing my diet wasn’t necessarily to lose weight or gain greater health.
Last year, when I started this process, I was home cooking all our food.
We would eat out in a restaurant once a fortnight.
But I have never been a fast food fan.
I consider McDonalds and the like to be akin to the devil incarnate.
Indoctrinating kids with their subliminal marketing techniques.
Turning them into cult members.
But using chemical-laden pseudo-food instead of Kool-Aid.
To encourage mass suicide.
(Okay, deep breath, I’ll calm down now. :-))
After a three-week gorge on all that is near and dear to my English heart while on a trip home, and being on the increasingly uncontrollable cycle of low energy, sugar and caffeine high, twitchy legs and muscle cramps, I vowed to start by cutting wheat cold turkey the moment the wheels of our Virgin Atlantic plane touched the runway at SFO.
And crucially, I wrote about it.
Accountability via this blog is one of big benefits of writing it.
The response was almost instantaneous.
I immediately lost the sleepy feeling that would often cause me to prop my eyelids open with matchsticks.
Then send me to my bed mid-afternoon as I gave up the fight.
Excessive sleepiness had been big problem for me.
If I napped this way, I’d wake up feeling like someone had used me to wipe the floor and then tossed me in a heap in the corner.
I would be good for nothing from that point on and my whole day was lost.
So I had more productive hours in my day plus, as a side benefit, I lost several pounds immediately.
That was July 2010.
In September, I came upon The Primal Blueprint which advocates a diet that replicates more or less what our ancestors ate way back millions of years ago.
This wasn’t the first time I’d been exposed to the paleo/primal/caveman/stone-age/whatever-name-you-want-to-give-it way of eating.
Several years ago when I was still giving my kids fish sticks and sugary applesauce, I heard about it.
Back then, there were just a few websites and some recipes using something called arrowroot.
It seemed completely restricting and crazily un-doable at that time.
Now, with better support, I was ready.
My success with dropping the wheat motivated me to gain greater benefits by dropping all grains and potatoes.
I simply dropped the rice/pasta/potato accompaniment at dinner, had soup or salad for lunch, smoothie or eggs for breakfast.
And the gains just continued to come.
Steady energy all day, clearer thinking, increased activity, better, longer cycles, less pain, happier moods, a few more pounds lost.
The 2am wakings and anxiety that filled the gap where sleep should have been disappeared.
And finally, surprisingly, less niceness.
Less tolerance for the unacceptable.
Some big boys got fleas in their ears.
And not given to them by my cats, neither.
Snacking and occasionally bingeing on sugar was the final major hurdle and I went back and forth over this for several months.
But then I wrote this post about sugar taking the biscuit in our house and asking for help.
I read all the advice.
And one day, I was feeling a bit a rebel, a bit punk rock.
I threw. It. Out.
I picked up a gallon bag of leftover Easter candy, ate a few and then tipped it all in the garbage.
I was so pleased with myself, I updated my status on Facebook.
And waited for the sky to fall in.
You know what?
Nothing happened. Nothing.
The world didn’t stop, my heart didn’t stop beating, my kids got up the next morning and went to school.
I’d like to say dependency over.
But like an addict, I probably will never be able to say that.
I’ll always need to be vigilant.
And I’m preparing for the sugar fest that will happen on a monthly basis starting Halloween already.
But I’m confident that as long as I keep the house mostly free of sugar.
And if I throw it away as soon as I can.
I can say that I own sugar.
And not the other way around.
The Coke Zero still calls me occasionally.
But nowadays I mostly restrict myself to the odd sip.
I drink tea with milk. Too many emotional associations for me to give it up but I may yet.
Eating raw almonds is like eating tree bark in my opinion but I can’t stop at just a few.
So I just don’t buy them.
I use coconut oil, butter, ghee or fat from meat to cook with.
I eat most meats in their various forms but rarely ham or other deli meat.
I eat fish.
I eat a lot of eggs (the number would shock you) and vegetables.
I eat a few pieces of fruit a week often in green or berry smoothies.
I eat the same food pretty much every day.
Over time, I’ve noticed the transitioning to healthier eating follows a predictable pattern.
One of gaining awareness through research and reading, trying it out, falling off the wagon, trying again, falling, etc. several times.
Sometimes over several years.
But like a baby learning to walk, if you want it, if you keep at it, have a curious mind and a determined disposition, eventually those stuttering first steps become easy strides.
And eventually the skill gets integrated into the unconscious.
10 Foods To Remove From Your Diet To Regain Your Health
I eat or drink nothing or very little of the list below.
2. Soda (diet or regular)
3. All processed food
4. Anything with sugars or high fructose corn syrup
5. Wheat products
6. All grains including rice
7. Potatoes (occasionally I’ll eat sweet potato)
8. Legumes – beans, peanuts, peas
10. Vegetable Oils
Dairy products – milk, cheese, yogurt
Eggs (unless allergic)
Education is a huge part of this process and I wouldn’t be able to do it without using these resources continuously.
The websites I visit regularly:
Marks Daily Apple
The most popular primal/paleo site on the Web.
Sarah Fragoso’s site for women raising paleo families.
Go see how Dean transformed himself from everyone’s favorite teacher to the paleo movement’s answer to George Clooney…:-)
The Primal Parent
Peggy Emch’s site tackles some of the more intriguing and knottier issues relating to women and primal living.
The books I recommend:
Very accessible, family friendly book including recipes by Sarah Fragoso.
The Primal Blueprint
Popular, comprehensive book discussing the lifestyle and principles behind it by Mark Sisson.
You now have everything you need to go make a change.
But don’t take my word for any of this.
Experiment for yourself with these guidelines.
Because I don’t believe in one size fits all.
We all vary with our different body compositions, different body constitutions.
We can withstand different tolerances.
We seek different goals.
But if you don’t have the life you want.
And your health is letting you down in some way.
Go cold turkey or take baby steps. It’s up to you.
Your health is worth it. You are worth it.
Your family are worth it.
Go make one change, just one.
But do it, today, and turn that vicious circle on its’ head.
And for all.
Do you have any questions? Can I suggest any tips? Just how many eggs *do* I eat a week? Leave me a comment!