I know by now you are wondering when I’m actually going to start talking about diet. But first I want to emphasize the need to slow down and make a plan. You didn’t achieve your current health condition overnight. For me it was an accumulation of a life-time of choices. I knew it would take time and I made a lot of mistakes but they were learning curves, plus I took some detours.
Once I decided to do something about our diet I had to make a plan. I began to research and learn as much as I could about each part of the typical American diet.
In a sense I broke it down to the food pyramid which is what was being used at the time. Now they have a plate I think.
I got this from the USDA website: https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/food-guide-pyramid-graphic-resources
I decided to stop eating processed food. By processed I mean food that cannot be made in my kitchen with ordinary tools and ingredients. Food which must be made in a factory. At first it wasn’t really for health reasons although I was happy that it would be better for our health, I did it for the Earth. I was really concerned about how much trash is made just by the way we eat. So I started buying in bulk and baking my own bread and making yogurt again and rolling out tortillas with a rolling pin. I bought a pasta maker and started making noodles. All to save the earth just a little. It is a great idea. It takes more energy to do that which is great, (more energy equals more calories burned) and it gave me more control over which ingredients were going into our food. My interest had been sparked and I began to research everything on that pyramid. I also began to research every ingredient on the ingredient lists.
My questions were:
- What is in the food?
- What do those words in the ingredient list mean?
- How do they make that?
- Why are we eating or drinking this?
- What could we eat and drink instead?
Since my time was limited I decided to research one topic a week. Often it turned into two weeks or a month. I started getting really interested in everything to do with food. I began to believe that what we put into our bodies has a very important impact on our health, physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Going unprocessed was difficult at first. I started with one thing at a time. I stopped buying cheese slices and bought a block and sliced it myself. It wasn’t too hard. It was about the waste at first. I baked bread and cookies. I had grown up on homebaked breads and desserts and had begun my homemaking life baking everything myself. It was a lot of extra work though, and I had fallen for the easier life, the convenience way. I’m not knocking the convenience way here, I know that life can be busy and hectic. We take whatever way we can to help us get through each day successfully. Often though it is our health that suffers when we make that choice about our food. We slide through the drive through either on our way somewhere or on our way home. It saves time and it feeds us. But what price are we going to pay for that?
“… be vigilant in what goes into your awesome body to maximize your health and vitality.”
Dr. Joel Kahn, M.D.
This is why I started this series talking about how important I am and how valuable my health is. My complete health. How much do I love myself and my family. Do I think that the nourishment of my body is something to take care of on the run, perhaps the one thing that I can use to save a bit of time? So many things we can’t do on the run. But why nutrition? Why does one of the most important things end up being the most neglected? It really is a great question. And usually the answer is, because we can.
Another question I asked myself is: Why would I trust people I don’t know with my nutritional needs? Do the people at the big name brand who put this food together really have my nutritional best in mind, or are they just trying to have the best bottom line out there?
So I forged ahead into the world of ‘unprocessed food’. It was time consuming because I was trying to eat the same stuff, only the made-at-home version of it. I knew it wasn’t right but I didn’t know what to do about it. For example, I was trying to make chips etc.
However, not only did going unprocessed save unnecessary trash it also saved money.
Back when I started this journey, I read a book by Michael Pollan called Food Rules. A beautifully illustrated book that is easy to understand. I got it for all my children hoping to spark an interested in them for healthful natural food.
October is the month to switch to unprocessed food. Every year there is a challenge called October Unprocessed mostly through face book and other social media. It is a great way to see how others are going unprocessed and to promote the unprocessed lifestyle. By saying that I eat unprocessed foods you know that I am not using pills, powders, special drinks to lose weight but only what can be made in my kitchen with ordinary ingredients.
If you are interested in improving your health and losing weight you really need to stop eating commercially processed food. I didn’t actually lose weight at this step. I loved the food and even though I was burning more energy making our food I was also eating very well. The first step to a more healthful diet is to make the plan to go unprocessed wherever you can and start doing that. It is truly a gateway to a more healthy life.
I’m not going to go into lengths here today about ingredients and chemicals, preservatives and sweeteners. I’ll write more about specific things another time. Meanwhile you can research individual items using the internet and the library.
Going unprocessed takes most of the chemical additives out of your diet. Just start with one thing at a time and make the commitment to yourself to make the food you eat nourishing and nutritional. Your body deserves it. You deserve it.
And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. Genesis 1:29
Thank you for reading this post. If you love what you read it would be great to hear from you. This is my story, I’m not a nutritional expert or in any way qualified to give advice so I can’t answer those types of questions. If you have gone unprocessed it would be great to hear from you, especially helpful tips, because it is always challenging when you are trying something new.