My Health Journey – #3 Plan

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:

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.



4 thoughts on “My Health Journey – #3 Plan

  1. Michael says:

    Yes, sugar is so addictive. I realise i have been addicted to sugar most of my life but in the last 3 years or so have consciously started to cut back on it to where now I have gone from 2 tsp of sugar to none in my coffee and maybe jsut about 5 granules of sugar in the raw in my tea with milk, but often don;t have that either. I never add it to my oatmeal or anything else.

    Now, I don’t think we will ever use honey as Alexandra loathes the taste so that is a no-go for us but I have some from a bee keeper friend of mine, rarely using it. We do have sugar in jam too but rarely have jam. Also have cut back on breads a lot but still have a half bagel now and then and of course there are sugars in most baked goods which we have now and then too, but no regular bread as I used to have every day for decades!

    Your food pyramind makes total sense and you must be so healthy as a result. Mine would have a lot of almonds and oatmeal at the base..and bananas! Haha. The thing that has probably helped us the most get slim is drastically reducing meat as it tends to be so fatty. I have perhaps had red meat/beef once in the last 3 months and fish maybe 4 times, and that was salmon each time. Funny thing is, I used to eat it all the time but found that craving is lessening too to where seeing a carcass really puts me off. I can do slices of turkey but since it’s processed may only have a slice or two every fortnight.

    Anyway, all good reminders. Thank you.

    P.S. My younger sister is bonkers crazy on her diet– a “live” raw vegan. That is, she can only eat food that is uncooked and freshly picked within the last 24 hours or something–I think it is to do with capturing the “chi” life force still in the plant before the chlorophyll or what have you dies. It is meant to be sustaining I guess. Last thing I heard from my other sister is that now she is considering fruit only! I fear that all her rad diets have affected her health though so we shall see!


    • hannamccown says:

      Thank you for sharing. So cool that you have cut back on sugar. I’m hearing this from lots of people and they are feeling better for it. I am going to finish making my food pyramid. It’s kind of incomplete. Thank you for reading this. I find it difficult to write about nutrition. I’ve been months trying to write the next one in this series.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s