Tag Archives: primal

I Fell Off of the Wagon

wpid-IMAG0263-1.jpgSo you fell off of the wagon?  So?  We all do, and then we let the experience fester like a pimple on our face.  We see it and feel it and pick at it.  We think our whole face is one big pimple.  We just can’t stop touching it and picking it.  How did that pimple get so big and crazy?  It started as just a tiny little red thing…

You fell off of the wagon.  Again.  And again.  And again.  Why?

Because you had old cronies around for a visit?  Uh-huh.  That’s the way it works.  Because you got tired and everybody at work is doing it?  Yep.  Because you ran out of time and it was faster?  You betcha’.  Because you allowed yourself one bite of your problem food?  (If you don’t have a problem food or substance– or two or three, you don’t understand.  Some of us just have to swear some things “off limits” or be okay with knowing we will eat/use them to excess with just one bite/use.  For some of us, moderation is not an option.)

If you try to change your diet, you WILL fall off of the wagon sometime.  All those experts, Paleo Mom, Robb Wolfe, Mark Sisson, Dr. Mercola, Steve and Jordan, Dr. Terry Wahls, Elaine Gottschall, and Dallas and Melissa.  Oh, heck, Dr. Oz.  You’ve heard of him.  They all fell off of the wagon.

I’ve read of a couple of people who say they didn’t fall off of the wagon, and I think that’s absolutely great.  They have expressed extreme success with their health and eating.  I give them a standing ovation.

But to you and I, I give my heartfelt encouragement.  I give my camaraderie.  My affection and empathy.  To you I give my hand.  My e-mail.  My comments section.  (But not a medical diagnosis or treatment plan.)  This path is hard.  Your challenger faces you at every street corner, every social function, every family member’s house, every children’s event, and every store.  Your failure is only a bite away.

I feel sorry for you.  I feel sorry that you can’t eat the way other people eat.  (But you know most of them shouldn’t be eating it either. Geesh.  Why can’t they help you out a little?  You’re just asking them to give up bread, pizza, and tortilla chips in show of support.)  I am sorry your body said, “I can’t do this.  This food you’re feeding me…it is not working out.  You keep going this way, I will fall apart on you.  I will try not to, but I will not be able to stop it.  You keep feeding me the same empty food and keep asking me to come up with brilliant ideas, energy for a jog, libido for the spouse, patience for the kids…”

I ask you.  I beg you.  I implore you.  Keep your focus.  Every day.  All day.  Ever diligent.  You will fall off the wagon, but you WILL hold onto the reins.  That is NOT the same as failing.  Ever.  As you keep holding onto the reins, remember to pull back on them and slow the horses.  Slow those horses and get back on your wagon.  It’s your darn wagon, and with trial and error, you CAN learn to control it.  But not if you quit.

So what.  You had a bad day.  It turned it to two or maybe even 7-10 days.  Perhaps it has been the last five years bad.  It’s okay.  Promise me you’ll start in the morning.  I’ll even let you finish that jar of almond butter that you added some honey, vanilla, and salt to.  But start.  You have to keep starting, learning from your mistakes, and keep trying.

You may think it’s just extra weight, but really, it is function.  Weight is a sign that your body is not functioning right.  Headaches are a sign that your body is not functioning right.  Chronic allergic rhinitis is a sign your body is not functioning right.  Being underweight is a sign your body is not functioning right.  Bloating is a sign your body is not functioning right.  Aside from your doctor’s check-ups, you MUST look at food as a culprit for dysfunction.

And if you’re a mom endeavoring to change not only your own eating, but those habits of your children, I am cheering for you even more.  If I can do it, you can do it.  You can do it.  I won’t ask you to more than I can do.  (But I used to–my poor diabetics and cardiac patients…)

Terri

Followup post:  Keep That Wagon Rolling:  My Less-Than-Expert Diet Tricks

Related Posts:   Grain-Free DietsGAPS, SCD, Paleo, Whole30, and Primal Diets, Choosing to Move Forward With the Plan, Eating out, Ditch the Word “Healthy”, How to Choose Honest Food, Tip Number 1 to Help Restore Health

The Best Ever Liver (for liver non-lovers)

In our story that ran the last few days, the diligent mom tried to get her family to eat liver, as it is exceptionally nutrient dense.  She was a tiger for her family’s health and so are you.

Don’t worry.  I don’t like liver, either.  If YOU like  liver, YOU can stop reading now.  (You know who you are.)  This recipe is to make liver NOT taste like liver.

Serving this liver recipe got me, “You’re the best cook, honey.” And “Mmm.  It’s good, Mom.”  Yeah.  For real.  You must try this one.

There is absolutely no option in my family.  It must be grass-fed liver.  It tastes much milder.  You should only be eating grass-fed beef anyway.

wpid-IMAG1155.jpg

The Best Ever Liver (for liver non-lovers)

Approximately 3/4 pound of liver, chopped into 1/2 inch size pieces
 3-5 tablespoons of bacon drippings
 1 green pepper, medium-sized, coarsely chopped
 1 onion, medium-sized, sliced
1-2 large cloves of pressed garlic
A generous 1 and 1/2 tablespoonful of cumin
1 teaspoonful salt
1/2 teaspoonful ground pepper

Heat bacon grease.  Add green pepper and onions and sauté until golden brown.  Add the pressed garlic and quickly sauté into the mixture.  Add the liver and stir.  Add the cumin, salt, and pepper.  Stir until mixed.  Cook until liver cooked through. Remove from heat and serve.

Family “gustar” report: “What is it mommy?” “It’s beef. Mexican beef.” “Oh.” And four of us ate it. One in our family of five was not present. All four who were present liked it. So 4/4.

Please, please, please go after your health.  You deserve it!  You can do it!

Terri

Paleo Parents’ Grain Free Granola

wpid-IMAG1063.jpg

It’s nice to have original blog posts and recipes, but I got to thinking about that.  Perhaps blogging is really just about getting good ideas more exposure.  And this granola from Paleo Parents is more than a great idea!  It has become a staple in our house!

The granola recipe I’m going to share is from Paleo Parents, and it really is super, duper delicious.  My kids devour it, and my husband swears I add some sort of grain. I found this granola recipe early in our eating transition, and I have never had the need to look for or try another.   If anyone tries this, too, I’d love to hear a comparison to other recipes out there.

I repeat, this is NOT my recipe.  It is from Paleo Parents, but it is so good, I want to share the word!  Drawing on my experience in making the recipe:

  • I have used both large flaked coconut and finely flaked coconut.  Both good.
  • I use the food processor to grind the macadamia nuts and walnuts very finely.
  • I have used all kinds of different nuts, rather than macadamia and walnuts, and all are good.
  • I usually use raisins, not cranberries.
  • I put the dates in my food processor and grind them up in there.
  • When I make it, it doesn’t seem to need the whole recommended cooking time.  It is better taken out when barely even just lightly brown.  SO WATCH IT CLOSELY!!  Set out to cool before putting it into storage.  By doing this, you’ll get clusters in your granola!

Lastly, I almost always double the recipe.

♦♦♦

Paleo Parents’ Grain-Free Granola Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 C sliced almonds
  • 1 1/2 C unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 C walnuts, finely chopped or pureed
  • 1 C macadamia nuts, finely chopped or pureed
  • 1 C dried cranberries
  • 1/2 C fresh dates, diced
  • 1/2 C coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 C honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

So gather those granola ingredients together and head on over to get the instructions at Paleo Parents.  The super fun and kid-friendly instructions are there along with the cutest photos!  Please head on over to Paleo Parents website to check out all their awesome recipes and information!  You will enjoy it immensely!!!

♦♦♦

You may also be interested in:  Grain-Free Breakfast Ideas, Grain-Free Waffles, and Grain-Free Pancakes
Posts in the Draft Bin:  Spontaneous posts until all guests return from whence they came.  However, I’m formulating a list of FODMAPS that are GAPS legal for myself that I look forward to sharing.

Balsamic Glazed Beet Salad

Beet saladThis is our favorite salad.

Cooking the beets and reducing the balsamic vinegar are steps that consume time.  To save a bit of time, you can prepare the beets one day, peel them, store them covered in the fridge, and then use them on another day to make the salad.  Sometimes, I’ll just make up a bunch of beets, eat some sprinkled with salt and pepper for supper, and then a couple of days later, I’ll use up more beets to make the salad.  They peel easiest when they are warm, but I have peeled lots of beets cold from the fridge, and they do fine, too.  We also eat the glazed beets as leftovers.

Life is about legitimate shortcuts.

Beets are very red.  Caution with your clothes, apron, or favorite cutting board.

(For special diets like SCD and GAPS, the balsamic vinegar must not have anything in it at all except vinegar.)

Balsamic Beet Salad

Ingredients:

Beets, 2-3 large or 4-6 small
Greens of choice (beet greens, arugula, spinach, Swiss chard, endive, kale, a mixture, etc)
3/4-1 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper, a dash or two
1/4 cup of nuts of choice, coarsely chopped (almonds or walnuts are great), more or less
1/4 cup of raisins, more or less depending on how many people you are serving
Optional:  Chevre cheese, if you’re not on dietary restrictions.  You could also toss in some cut grapes, blueberries, or sliced strawberries.  Sauerkraut on top tastes great!

Prepare Beets:
Either roast them in the oven or boil them covered in water.  Both are good methods.  Roasting provides a more complex, sweet flavor and nice texture to the beets, but they are more difficult to peel due to the “caramel” layer that forms just under the skin.  Boiling allows the skins to be slipped off very easily, but the flavor and texture is not as fine as roasting.  However, both methods work well, and we like both of them fine.  Often, it depends on which is easier that day, the oven or the stove.  If your beets are huge, they take a long time to cook.  That’s why I often make them ahead of time.

  • Roasting:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Cut off leaves and root end of beet.  Rinse.  Pat dry.  Place on baking sheet.  You may wrap them in foil if you’d like.  You may even place all of them together in one foil wrapping.  I don’t because it’s one more step, but you can.  Bake until they are fork tender, about an hour, depending on size.  Large beets may take much longer!  Remove from oven.  Allow to cool.  Use your hands/fingers to rub/peel off the beet skin and any stem you didn’t get off.  Use a knife if you prefer.
  • Boiling:  Cut off leaves and root end of beet.  Rinse.  Place in a pot of water, enough to cover all beets.  Bring water to a boil.  Boil the beets until they are fork tender, about 40 minutes to an hour, or longer if they are huge.  Remove from heat.  Pour off water.  Allow beets to cool.  You may run cold water over them if you want.  Use your hands/fingers to rub/peel off the beet skin and remaining stem.

wpid-IMAG0665.jpg wpid-IMAG0667-1-1.jpg

Slice beets as thick as you want.  Or make into wedges.  Or dice into medium, half-inch sized cubes.  Set aside in a bowl that will tolerate heat.

Prepare Greens:

Rinse desired greens and dry as well as you can.   Place in a bowl that will tolerate heat.  Use kitchen shears to cut greens into small, bite-sized pieces.  Set aside.

You can clean, remove stems, and use the beet greens at the top of the beet, too!  Very nutrient dense!wpid-IMAG0671.jpg

Prepare Dressing:

In a large skillet, pour balsamic vinegar and honey together.  Whisk together well.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.  Continue heating until the mixture thickens up, to about the consistency of a syrup.  Depending on your brand of balsamic, this can take some extra wpid-IMAG0668.jpgtime.  When reduced, add in the olive oil and whisk well.  Add salt and some pepper shakes.  Whisk well.  Add beets carefully to the hot mixture.  Allow the beets to heat through and be thoroughly covered in dressing.  Remove beets to a bowl that tolerates heat and set aside.

Use some of the still very hot leftover dressing to pour over the greens to wilt them just a little, if you’d like.  You may not need all of it, depending on how many greens you had or how many beets you had.  You sure don’t want your greens swimming!!!

Toss well to coat.

Put Salad Together:

Add beets to top of salad.  Add some raisins and chopped nuts on top.  Add other items as you enjoy them–fruit or sauerkraut.

Family “gustar” report:

My husband and I love this salad!  My kids pick at it.  My mother-in-law and father-in-law liked it so much, my MIL asked me to write down the recipe for her.
Here is the GAPS page which lists balsamic:  http://gapsdiet.com/The_Diet.html

Have a great day!

Terri

In the draft bin:  More Metametrix, GAPS Intro Stage 2 update

Give Us Your Zucchini! We Actually Want It!

Don’t turn down those zucchini and summer squashes you’re offered anymore!  Here are six zucchini ideas to use those logs all up.  And I haven’t even touched on salads yet!  Psssst.  Pick them small, please.

Pile chicken salad on top of fresh-cut zucchini slice into coins.

wpid-IMAG0984-1-1.jpg

Dip coin-sized slices into your favorite dip.  Much crisper than cucumber!

wpid-IMAG1028-1.jpg

Zucchini bread never fails.  The recipe I use is from “Against All Grain”:  Almond Flour Zucchini Bread.

wpid-IMAG0686-1.jpg

Grilled zucchini.  Mix  your favorite olive oil and your favorite vinegar in a 1:1 ratio.  Add a couple pinches of salt and a teaspoonful of thyme.  Toss diagonal sliced zucchini and the marinade together in a plastic bag.  Allow to sit as long as possible, overnight is best.

wpid-IMAG1025-1.jpg

Zucchini pizza boats.  I show some squash a neighbor gave me, but it works the same!

wpid-IMAG1006.jpgZucchini chips.  Slice a zucchini very thin, as thin as you can, using a mandolin slicer.  Fry over medium-high in a single layer until golden brown.  Transfer when done to a paper-towel lined plate.

wpid-IMAG0969.jpg

And I still have lots more zucchini!  So I’ll be coming up with more ideas!  Do you have any ideas to share?

Related Post:  The Best Ever Zucchini

A Real Food Story

 

Inappropriate weight is a SIGN from the body that it is struggling with our food choices.

Our bodies function best on whole foods.

Thank you to my mother-in-law for sharing her whole-foods conversion story.  Yesterday’s post contains the introduction to her story.  Choosing nutrient-dense foods is allowing her body to start functioning like it should, and she deserves that.  We all do.  You do:

Terri, here it is.  For better or worse.

My name is Mary and I’m overweight.  My cholesterol number is 11 points above the desirable number and I have an irregular heartbeat (supraventricular tachycardia).  [Allow me, Terri, to mention the time we were walking and her irregular heart beat acted up and her blood pressure dropped.  I had to leave her supine on a park bench while I sprinted 1 and 1/2 miles home to get the car.]  I walk 2 miles a day, 4-5 days a week and spend summers in Indiana and winters in South Carolina.

I never meant for it to happen, but over the years I’d added a pound here and a pound there until I was 20 pounds overweight on my 71st birthday.  [At some point in life, we get to forget about weight!  I don’t care about my mother-in-law’s “weight”, but I do care about her “function.”]  It was then that I decided to do something about it.  Doctors on TV had said that one way to reduce cholesterol was to lose weight.  And I remember back in the 60s my husband attended a science convention in Atlantic City where the keynote speaker presented information about his topic:  “Man is getting too big for his heart.”  I reasoned that maybe I could improve my cholesterol number and improve my heart condition by losing a little weight.

So I began my daily diet regime:  a bowl of cereal with skim milk for breakfast and then a little meat, chicken, or fish, a serving of fruit, and 3 servings of vegetables divided between the other two meals.  I did allow myself a little grain (bread or pasta).  By November I had lost 5 pounds.  But then came Thanksgiving and my weight spiked up again.  Before I could lose the weight again, along came Christmas and a repeat of Thanksgiving.  Then there was New Year’s Eve.  I just could not seem to move ahead with my weight-loss goals.

Then in late February, my daughter-in-law told me about the success her family was having with whole foods and eliminating grains and dairy from their diets.  [Our success came in “function”:  Energy levels, coughs, headaches, stomach aches, constipation, inability to concentrate, sleep, runny noses, stuffy noses, etc.  Weight did follow.]  I decided to give “no grains” a try.  I wasn’t ready to give up ice cream altogether, but I would try to give up grains.  That in itself seemed a daunting task – goodbye pie, cake, pasta, yeast rolls, corn, even cereal.  Was there anything left to eat??!!  What I was expected to live on was a little meat or fish, a little fruit, and lots of vegetables.  I took it a step further and eliminated white potatoes; and although I did not eliminate dairy altogether, I did significantly decrease my intake of milk, cheese, and butter (choosing olive oil instead).  And, yes, I decreased the frequency of ice cream treats.  To be sure I didn’t fudge the results, I kept a daily log of my weight.

The Results

Although I kept a daily log, I will present only the weight on the first day of the new diet and each month after, as close to the anniversary date as possible.

Date                                                      Weight

March 3                                                114.0

April 2                                                   111.6

May 3                                                    108.6

June 10                                                 106.0

July 3                                                     104.8

Health Benefits

I have noticed a number of health benefits as a result of losing 10 pounds, some of them hoped for, some expected, and some a complete surprise.

  • My waist size has decreased 2-3 inches
  • I can bend more easily to tie my shoes
  • I can walk all the way up the hill without stopping to rest midway
  • My heartbeat is more regular during exercise
  • My blood pressure has decreased about 10 points
  • I have more energy and really notice I have sluggishness with increased grain and/or sugar intake

You May Wonder:

1.  What do you eat for breakfast?  Normally I have a smoothie for breakfast made with ½ c. coconut water, a banana, ¼ apple, some cinnamon and/or nutmeg and then another fruit (blueberries, strawberries, peaches, and mangos are favorites).  Ice is optional.  If I am traveling, I will opt for egg, sausage, and fruit.

[I, Terri, have a whole list of breakfast ideas if you click here.  Although I like smoothies, they don’t stick to my ribs.  Protein and fat last me longer and don’t give me a post-breakfast sugar drop, which may be what she’s experiencing.  Real fats, if we remove processed sugars, excessive sweet consumption, and carbohydrates from grains should not scare us anymore.  However, convincing somebody who has been trained to be afraid of animal fats for 40 years is very tough.]

2.  Do you ever get hungry between meals?  Yes, especially after the breakfast smoothie.  Usually I walk 2 miles after breakfast, and after that walk I am very hungry.  The trick is to get very busy and stay that way until lunchtime.  If hunger is too overwhelming, a handful of nuts helps.

[Here I, Terri, would again point out “the smoothie crash” I mentioned above.  I would also add that any whole foods snack will work:  a banana, an avocado, olives, apple slices with almond butter, a leftover hamburger patty, a boiled egg, a can of tuna in olive oil.  Something with protein and fat will curb true hunger.]

3.  When is it hardest for you to resist grains?  When the person across the table from me is eating a warm, fluffy, yeasty-smelling, buttery-topped pan roll, or a piece of warm rhubarb custard pie topped with ice cream, or a stack of pancakes with maple syrup dripping, or a piece of hot pizza.  You name it.  It’s a struggle. 

[She mentioned to me once that she knew exactly what an alcoholic must go through.]

4.  Do you ever fall off the wagon?  Oh, yes!  But I just climb back on again.  And to compensate, I may adjust by eating only vegetables for the next meal, or a small piece of fruit and a handful of nuts.  Or I may exercise a little more.

[For myself, I focus on how poor my energy level is,  how irritable I feel, how bloated I am, how my constipation flares up, or my headache.  Reminding myself that I like to feel good helps me start renewed the next morning.]

Conclusion

This life style change for me seems to be working, although I seem to have reached a plateau at around 105 pounds.  Maybe there have been simply too many graduation parties, holidays, and family picnics.  But when I fall off the wagon, I get right back on.  I’ve come too far to turn back now.  The prize is just around the bend – 5 pounds to my optimum weight and whatever health perks come with it. 

[Here I would encourage people to focus on the “health perks” and not the weight.  IT IS NOT YOUR WEIGHT THAT DETERMINES HOW GOOD YOU FEEL.  IT IS THE REMOVAL OF EXCESS FOOD/EXCESS CARBOHYDRATE-FOODS AND THE INSULIN EXTREMES THAT ACCOMPANIES THOSE FOODS.  THE REMOVAL OF CHEMICALS.  THE ADDITION OF MICRONUTRIENTS ABSENT FROM GRAINS.  The feeling better is the key that something good is happening.  The weight will come.  Focusing on weight will bring failure.  Focusing on that horrible sluggish feeling grains often gives some people is a much better incentive.  Or the supraventricular tachycardia symptoms that are so uncomfortable and now going away.]

Thank You For Reading

My mother-in-law is a wonderful woman!  She deserves to feel good, have great energy, desirable cholesterol, and be able to walk without a racing heart.  For me to hear that her irregular heart beat (which is under the great management of her cardiologists) and stamina seem to be improving is joy to my ears.  She is losing about an average of 2 pounds per month, a perfectly sustainable weight-loss.

wpid-IMAG0924.jpgI didn’t hand her a book to read on any particular diet.  Although I am self-experimenting by following GAPS diet, the word “diet” sets my teeth on edge. We would all function (and therefore feel) much better if we could simply choose foods in a more whole state.  (After achieving that wonderful feat, discerning individual food intolerances and adding in a few tweaks will complete “The I Feel Good Conversion.”)

Free to do what she chooses, I laid down these ideas (I’m sorry if you follow along that you have to see these again.):

  • No processed foods or drinks.
  • Nothing with artificial colors and preservatives (including drinks).
  • Nothing with added sugar, corn syrup, or artificial sweeteners.
  • No grains except for special occasions, hopefully not more than a couple of times a month.
  • No dairy with anything added to it (sugar, colors, carrageenan).  Read labels.
  • Added fats in the form of olive oil, butter, coconut oil, and animal-sources are fine and do not need regulated.
  • Eggs are not bad.
  • Most calories need to come in the form of fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed meats.

I hope you feel good today.  I hope, if you don’t, you can find what it is that will help you.  Whole food is the perfect start.  (And a check-up with a doctor will help define any serious problems!)

Terri

You Have to Lose Weight

You go to the doctor’s office. The doctor says, “You have to lose weight.” It’s a 1 minute conversation, if that.  So what do you do?  Count calories?  Eat less?  Exercise more?  Skip dessert?  Eat low-fat?  Lose five pounds only to regain it all before the next doctor’s visit?

Research and medicine are stumbling on to the knowledge that how we’ve been telling you to eat is a set-up for disaster.  (You can almost hear me say it, “It’s not your fault.”)  Carbohydrates and dairy, in most of us, cannot be the foundation of a well-functioning body.  Foods full of preservatives and sugars are detrimental to the balance of beneficial gut bacteria so underappreciated in the 20th century, but slowly gaining respect in the 21st.  Chronically elevated insulin as a result of constant carbohydrate introduction (cereal, granola bar, milkshake, sandwich bread, pasta, pizza, crackers, soda pop, juice) is Inflammatory Monster 1.   High omega-6 intake from processed oils, touted as healthy, is Inflammatory Monster 2.  Inflammatory Monsters abound in today’s processed food.

My Mother-in-Law and Her Weight

Tomorrow I am going to share my mother-in-law’s nutritional intervention story, but today I will set up the background information.  Her story is an “everyday story.”  She didn’t drop 100 pounds.  She didn’t cure something like ulcerative colitis  in herself.  She isn’t a famous person.  She wasn’t falling on the floor sick, but she was overweight, like many.  Her stamina was deteriorating, like many.  She could be your mom.  Or you.  Or your wife.  And now she feels better…

My mother-in-law is a saint; she has immense treasure waiting for her up in heaven.  As one of the nicest, most patient people who ever walked the earth, she kindly puts up with her son and I, both strong-headed mules (you are allowed to take the analogy one step further and not be too far off from the truth).

She has always been a tiny, 62-inch woman (1.6 meters), until recent years, when she started blossoming OUT.  She usually respectfully heeds my medical advice when it is needed regarding her health.  Over the last several years, as she struggled with her weight slowly creeping up and up, I had no wise medical words to offer this diligent, conscientious-to-a-fault, woman.   So, you’re gaining weight?  Welcome to the real world.  Move more.  Eat less.  Calorie in.  Calorie out.  Next.

wpid-IMAG1004.jpgFinally, her cholesterol sadly followed her weight.  Never one to break rules, she studied the food pyramid and made every effort to do just what it said, posting lists of “healthy” foods and appropriate serving sizes on cupboard doors.  Ever trying, trying to shed creeping pounds and cholesterol numbers. When her cholesterol went up, her doctor told her to eat more oatmeal.    So EVERY morning it was oatmeal for breakfast.  Still her weight and cholesterol trended up.  Her doctor wanted to put her on a statin for cholesterol.  She has VERY few other risk factors, if any.

By now, I had stumbled across GAPS, SCD, Paleo, Primal, Terry Wahl’s (M.D.) and Whole30 type diets.  (They each have their own unique, important spins, but they preach a very similar message which I believe is crucial for a healthy functioning body.)  My whole family was feeling better.  We had even lost some weight.  My husband lost 30 pounds eating this new way. I lost 10. (The man always loses more. No biggie. HE had more to lose anyway.)

We focus(ed) on:

  • nutritional density (whole fruits, vegetables, and unprocessed meats)
  • removing foods and drinks known, or suspected, to treat the human body badly (like things with artificial colors, preservatives, and sugars)
  • eliminating foods that seemed to treat our own individual bodies badly (grains, dairy, eggs, nuts)

What started as a search for a cure for my severe, chronic constipation problem via the GAPS diet has turned into a wonderful journey of just feeling so much better overall:  fewer headaches, less asthma symptoms, less allergic rhinitis, better bowel movements, more energy, alleviation of common female problems, and identification of SIDE EFFECTS of food.

As we experienced astounding success, I watched my mother-in-law continue to struggle to get that weight down, internally fretting and bemoaning her poor results.  She was in NO way obese by somewhat distorted American standards, and most people in America would have called her normal size.  However, by medical standards, her assessment of herself was correct; she was overweight.

One morning when my in-laws and my family was vacationing together in Grand Cayman, we sat around the breakfast table conversing, and diet and weight control came up.  (Who knows?  Maybe my id brought it up.)  I couldn’t control my intensity as I looked at my mother-in-law:  “You really want to know how to lose this weight?  Get your cholesterol numbers better?”

Due to my intensity, she looked like a deer in headlights: “Of course I do!”

With much vehemence, I said, “Well, the oatmeal has to go.  So do ALL the grains:  wheat, rice, corn, soy, quinoa, you name it.  Wheat is a treat and only for birthdays and holidays.  No crackers.  No bread.  No bagels.  No added sugars.  No preservatives.  Nothing with added colors.  If you eat dairy, it can’t have anything added to it by the manufacturer.  None of this pink yogurt crap.”

Being so good–she wouldn’t argue with the devil–her gray, purple eyes met mine and I saw that jaw of hers clamp down with this challenge.  She thought I had read one too many diet book on this vacation:  “Okay.  I’ll try it.”

wpid-IMAG0939.jpgAgreeing to Share

Changing my diet a year and few months ago for some health reasons was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and I really didn’t think a change in my diet would really do all that much–but I wanted to prove it to myself.  I was at my ideal weight (albeit the upper end), exercised daily, ate “healthy food” (along with my cinnamon rolls and cookies), and just looked to be the epitome of health.  Diet change really sucked at first; somewhere along the line, though, I started feeling good.  And I liked it.  I now know this dietary intervention has been the best thing I did for myself, my husband, and my children.  And if I can share that as an inspiration to others, great.

I have been slowly, painfully, letting it be known that I have a blog to people I know.  I figure I love them best, and if it’s that important to me, they ought to get a piece of the carrot.  I let my mother-in-law know about my blog a month ago, and I asked her hopefully if I could share her “nutritional rehabilitation” success story.  She is a profoundly private person, so I didn’t know what to expect.  Surprisingly, she said “yes.”  I think it’s because she senses my urgency and desperation in this matter.  It’s that important to me.

Doctors haven’t sold their souls to the devil. They’re not in a conspiracy. We don’t want you in misery so we can make more money. We aren’t in cahoots with drug companies. We want you to be healthy. We want you to feel good. We just, for so long, haven’t been properly trained on nutrition–the cornerstone of health.

For too long in medicine we’ve sided with moderation talks. We’ve dealt in “diet and exercise.” Calorie in. Calorie out. It’s not effective. It’s not working. It’s not working. It’s not working. QUIT BANGING YOUR HEAD INTO A WALL!

Goodness, no wonder I was having headaches.

Tomorrow I will share my mother-in-law’s words.  Thank you for reading this far, if you did!

Terri