Friday, March 15, 2013
THE ONE WHERE I TALK ABOUT FOOD
I'm going to precede this post by saying that it has taken me a very long time to write. Literally, months.
I'm not sure exactly why it's taken so long, I think maybe because I knew it was going to be hard for me to put it down concisely, and I really didn't know where to start.
So, I guess I'll just start from the beginning. Let's talk about food.
Last year was one of the worst years for me when it came to my health - physically and mentally. As well as picking up every little niggly cold that the kids caught, I was hit with one of the worst flu's I have ever had. Ruby and I were the only one's to get it, which really showed me how my immune system was struggling. I was constantly lethargic, my emotional and mental state were being affected, I felt slow and heavy.
I knew things had to change, and primarily with my lifestyle. Midway through the year I had a stupid harebrained idea to do a five day juice fast. It wasn't an impulsive thing, I'm not an impulsive person. Johnny and I talked about it for weeks, perhaps even months. It wasn't for weight loss reasons, for me it was more about getting more vegetables and fruit into our diets. I planned the week ahead, and we started one Monday morning. I learned by about 10am, that this sort of fast is NOT designed for a Stay-at-Home-Mother with three children under five at home, nor for a mother who has just started her period! Like I said - stupid! When Johnny got home I think I burst into tears, and by 8:30 I was enjoying (inhaling!) peanut butter on toast. I know my body, and I know it does not do well when I eliminate food groups (Coffee is a food group, isn't it?).
So, on our merry way we went, continuing to eat as per the status quo. Still feeling lethargic, antsy and just not quite right.
I started to get frustrated with myself. I knew how, when and what to eat, I used to do it so well all the time. Becoming a mother changed so much more than I ever thought it would. I'd completely forgotten how to nourish myself properly. Instead of eating healthy, nutritious and regular meals. I'd skip meals because I was too busy, or just finish the kids meals, or I'd sit down to meal that would then get eaten by the kids. I'm sure this sounds so familiar to many mothers, yes?
Around October last year, I thought enough is enough. I needed to relearn how, when and what to eat. I'd been hearing and seeing a little bit about clean eating, so I looked into that a bit. I didn't want a diet. I wanted a lifestyle that my family and I could live without feeling deprived. But more importantly without compromising our health, like so many of the ingredients that are listed on packets these days do. Not to say that we were eating badly before, it just could have been better, more nutritious.
I went to the library and borrowed some of Michelle Bridges books for inspiration. I looked at her menu plans and her meals and started with that. We found them fresh, wholesome and relatively quick and simple meals. The very first day I noticed an increase in my energy levels, and no sugar cravings. In fact, the less sugar I ate, the better I felt. I then found Dani's blog, Fitness, Food and Style and was inspired even more.
We ate regular meals, increased our fruit and vegetable intake, cut out everything and anything processed, and therefore ate very little sugar. We actually felt like we were eating more than we normally did. We still have our Friday pizza nights, and I just tweak a few things here and there, like simply omitting sugar from pancakes. I would sometimes, and still do, indulge in some chocolate and wine in the evenings, but I feel so much better, and I'm perfectly OK with that.
This, again, was not about weight loss for me, but I was pretty excited when after 4 weeks I had found out I had lost nearly 5 kilos, with practically no exercise. This NEVER happens to me. I'm only 5 foot 2, I wasn't carrying a lot of extra weight. I have calorie counted and exercised for hours at a time before and never lost that amount of weight. It just proves to me what eating crap and sugar does to you, and when you stop how quickly the body can react.
Changes have been and will continue to be made in our home, as I re-educate myself on foods. I am quickly realising I am on the very tip of an iceberg - think organic, ethical, local, raw, the list goes on. There is so much more to learn, and I wish I could talk to my Grand Parents about some things.
But more than anything I have realised just how important it is for me to teach our children how to eat properly to nourish their bodies. I feel so guilty about what I have been feeding our children in the past. Foods that can ultimately be very harmful to them. Some of which the manufacturers have quite successfully convinced us of being healthy, and others out of pure convenience. It has been a harder transition for them. They have resisted to some of the alternatives, and taking Jenson with me to the supermarket is a bit hard at the moment, but I'm slowly moving them on to healthier options. It is also a great blessing that we are able to grow some of our own food here, which is a big start.
I want to keep things simple. There are so many thoughts, theories, messages and propaganda out there, and I'm easily overwhelmed. I've found a few blogs that have started me off and have been helpful and inspiring.
The Wholefood Mama
Fitness, Food and Style
Help me, if you can. I would love to know where you go for whole food inspiration. I have a feeling I am about to embark on a life changing journey.