And so I avoid.
I never minded being kind of beat at the end of the day and carrying around ten pounds of baby weight five years after the baby was born (you know how that is...) because I was enjoying my food! And most of all, I was sane.
Enter Tosca Reno's series and her Eat Clean philosophy, and not only am I following her "diet" (as in, how people eat, or the Italian diet versus the Okinawan diet), but my husband has enthusiastically jumped on board and neither of our kids is complaining.
In her books, Reno outlines several Eat Clean principals, including dictums like, "Eat six small meals a day" and "Avoid sugar". It would be easy to get all legalistic about those and go crazy trying to follow them to the letter. At first I did, and it was no fun!
Then I just decided to embrace her main ideas and live out those, and that's when the magic really started to happen.
- We cleaned out our fridge of processed junk food and started to read the labels on literally everything.
- What we didn't know we looked up on Wikipedia and Live Strong. How enlightening to realize that you have to look up seven preservatives (and deal with all the sugar, including sucralose, trade name Splenda!!!) on a standard loaf of store-bought whole wheat bread, among other "healthy" items in the cupboard.
- We ditched the white flour and replaced it with whole wheat flour in even our treasured baked goods (banana bread, pancakes, raisin muffins).
- Ditto all the refined white sugar, which was tossed in favor of Turbinado sugar, honey, and unsweetened applesauce (for baking).
- We replaced fatty cuts of meat with leaner ones, turkey burgers for beef.
- We decided to forgo our favorite lunch box staples of cold cuts, saving them for special occasions such as family get-togethers. Same for hot dogs, nitrate filled even when the label says "100% all beef".
The life changes over the past three weeks have been nothing short of remarkable! We all have more energy, more optimism, and are (slightly - real change takes time) leaner for what seems like very little effort.
Once you get used to it, the spirit of discovery takes over and you find yourself in the kitchen whipping up things the old-fashioned way. It's the only way to really know what you're eating!
Recently, I've been saving mason and jam jars like crazy because I know they'll come in handy for making my own ketchup, mayonnaise, salad dressing, etc. The kids are my taste-testers, and boy, do they love it! Here are some recent concoctions:
|homemade vinaigrette: canola oil, wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and Dijon mustard|
|raisin muffins made with whole wheat flour and sweetened with raisins and Turbinado sugar (half the amount called for in the recipe)|
|group photo of the muffins|
I think that my mom is incredulous because she raised me on whole wheat and carob. But she's good at humoring me!