Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Food Evolution

So, anyone who knows me well knows that Food and I have a long-term love-hate thing going.  If we were on Facebook together, our relationship status would be 'It's Complicated,' especially when that interloper Body Image comes around and wedges him/her [Question: how exactly do you personify body image, that you usually equate as a feminine struggle, when you yourself are a hetero female?] self in between us.

There were the years when Body Image convinced me that I seriously needed to ditch Food's sorry butt to the curb.  Period.  But the co-dependent in me craved his touch, that sated fill of my belly, the swell of serotonin that followed the carb-heavy selections with which he tempted me.  So I found myself smack in the middle of a love triangle between Body Image and Food.  Said triangle's name?  Bulimia.  I'd sneak around with Body Image and rebuff Food all day long.  At night, Food and I would meet in clandestine conditions, and overindulge with each other.  It was hell on earth.

The years that followed had me reconciling with Food, re-establishing boundaries, norms, and finding new ways for us to relate with each other that were equally as pleasing but with less damage.  During these years, I had a restraining order against Body Image.

Enter Exercise, and over time it became acceptable for Food and I to double date with Body Image and Exercise.  As a quartet, we have found balance and harmony.  Sort of.   Food and I still keep to ourselves too much sometimes, neglecting Exercise, which makes Body Image lash out in a jealous rage.

Food and I have long known that fresh is best, and the purest we can get, the better.  So we've had fresh fruits and veggies together for a Very Long Time.  Ever wanting our relationship to succeed, I do what any married woman does and stay abreast with the latest and greatest self-help guides to success.

Whole grains, stay away from refined flour/sugar as much as possible, low-fat, lean protein, right?

Until recently.

My Facebook and blogs and other internet dealings kept popping up with things like Wheat Belly, paleo diet, primal eating, etc.  But what really did me in?

This video.

This video haunts me, and wanna know why?

Because my daughter had so much struggle with the sensory integration as a young child (it's gotten So Much Better) and my first son is starting to show signs of brain-related behavior/learning issues.

Because my loved ones deal with chronic, inflammatory problems such as high blood pressure, acid reflux, joint/back pains, etc.  And they all eat 'healthy' diets per the USDA.

Could they exercise more?  Yeah, we all can.

But by and large?  We Can Prevent If Not Cure what ails us by changing our diets!

So, I've started to implement a [mostly] grain-free, mostly legume-free, diet, no, lifestyle, that is catching on in my family.  Like my friend Jen, I'm going about this gradually.  And it's catching on.  Seth informed me yesterday that he'd had a grilled chicken sandwich, served in lettuce, for lunch yesterday.  Kelsey packed a salad with meat and egg on it in her lunch this morning.  Colton is a tougher sell, but we'll get him ;)

I still eat quinoa and brown/wild rices, and legumes, but usually only at dinner and in smaller than standard serving sizes.  It's all about keeping the glycemic index and inflammation factors low.  Self.com has a great nutrition data tool that you can type virtually any food (along with method of preparation) and get standard nutrition facts, along with glycemic load and inflammation indicators on.  Breakfasts have been fruit/veggie and yogurt/almond milk smoothies and/or eggs with meat and/or veggies a la omelettes.  Today, I splurged and bought a gluten-free bagel (brown rice flour) breakfast sandwich and Oh.Em.Geeeeeeeee (goodness, too, not the other Gee).  So good.  But it was a splurge - not a regular part of the lifestyle, ya know?

Some primal/paleo folks say no dairy unless it is grass-fed, organic, and I say - that's not an affordable option for our family.  We are still doing dairy, and not necessarily organic.  We just don't have the money for that.  Same goes for our meat.  We will buy grass-fed, all natural when we can (or rather, harvest it via hunting), but budget constraints limit this.

But corn, soy, gluten, most sugar*? Sayonara! (*Agave in small quantities, and occasional cane sugar indulgences, y'all)

In baby steps, as some things like salad dressings and condiments have residual amounts in them, but as we finish them up, they will be replaced with healthier options.

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