Lifestyle Choices-Cracking the Code

fred wilma egg

As promised, today I will describe the differences between a few eating styles.

Before you read the word “diet” and think this is about weight loss, I want to assure you, while it may be a side effect for some people when changing eating styles, that is NOT what this is about.  The best weight-loss program you can implement in your life is to eat healthy, nutrient-dense foods and get moving. 😉

According to dictionary.com, a ‘diet’ is defined as:

1. food and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on health: Milk is a wholesome article of diet.

2. a particular selection of food, especially as designed or prescribed to improve a person’s physical condition or to prevent or treat a disease: a diet low in sugar.

3. such a selection or a limitation on the amount a person eats for reducing weight: No pie for me, I’m on a diet.

4. the foods eaten, as by a particular person or group: The native diet consists of fish and fruit.

5. food or feed habitually eaten or provided: The rabbits were fed a diet of carrots and lettuce.

My definition of “diet” combines a few of the above descriptions; my favorites being #4 and #1.

Recently, our family needed to make some changes to our diet due to some health issues. The main change was that we needed to take gluten out of our selection of foods.  As I mentioned in my last post, we have been doing that, but in addition, we are finding ourselves eating more of a “primal” diet.

What does that mean?

Well, in the world of ‘foodies’ and ‘diets’ there seems to be quite a trend to embrace a “Paleo” lifestyle, a “Primal” lifestyle, or a “Gluten-free” lifestyle.

But are they really new?

I think it has gained popularity only because all three lifestyles have helped people lose weight, (which seems to be America’s greatest concern when it comes to physical appearance) and because of the rise in food allergies. After all, I don’t recall reading about anyone having food allergies in the Garden of Eden.

The reality is: these lifestyles are archaic; yep, ancient; downright old.

The gluten-free diet is simply more “popular” because the grains that were eaten by those in biblical days, in our grandparents day, and even in our parents days,….are NOT the same grains you are eating now and/or are feeding to your children.  The majority of the grains eaten these days is so overproduced, modified, treated, and processed, that well, they are causing more harm than good. Therefore, people are having to “go gluten-free” because of health implications.

Just looking at how many people have allergies to foods these days compare to when I was a child,…..wow!  And that is just one symptom of a really big problem.  It’s actually quite sad.

The “Paleo” lifestyle and the “Primal” lifestyle refer to the diets eaten by people who lived in the Paleolithic period of time and are often considered to be the diets that the cavemen ate. And trust me, there were no “Hamburger Helpers” in those days!

Both diets emphasize the consumption of foods that were either grown or collected by hunters and gatherers. I think IF they ate goldfish, they didn’t come out of a box and certainly didn’t come in cool shapes and colors!

Both diets (and a good gluten-free diet) should include animal proteins and fats and a lot of nutrient-dense, whole fruits and vegetables.  They suggest choosing foods that are either grown or raised by one’s self, or, that were grown or raised by someone you know.  Foods like grass-fed beef, pastured chicken eggs, fermented foods, pastured and not anti-biotic filled chickens, and wild-caught fish.  While the Paleo diet does not include dairy products, the Primal diet and a good gluten-free diet usually includes milk straight from the cow.  Yes, RAW milk. *we can tackle that subject another day* 😉

If your only option is buying food from the grocery store, do your homework.  Find out where the food came from, wash it well when you get home, try to buy organic (learn about the clean 15 and the dirty dozen), and buy foods REAL, WHOLE foods.

Both diets (and a good gluten-free diet) should also include LOTS of seasonal fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats.  The Paleo diet exludes legumes.

No matter which lifestyle you choose, remember, it is your job to be informed.  Don’t take my word for it. Study up on your subject. *Look up Robb Wolf, Loren Cordain, and Mark Sisson, that’ll get you started.* Decide what your goals are before you make the change and take baby steps so that your changes will last.

Lastly, remember, making lifestyle changes isn’t just about food.  Think about your relationships, your priorities, your exercise routines, and your habits. It won’t make much of a difference if you change the foods you eat if you still overeat while sitting on the couch with the clicker in your hand and never get active.  Sorry, watching exercise on television doesn’t count, you actually have to get up and get moving.

Remember, baby steps!  You are looking for progress, not perfection. 😉

By the way, don’t stress out about an occasional cheat treat,….part of really living, is enjoying life. 🙂

Also, if you happen to be one of the fortunate people who can “eat anything and everything”, I would encourage you to not take that for granted.  I would encourage you to eat a REAL, WHOLE-FOODS diet that includes plenty of fermented foods, exercise, sunshine, and active fun!  🙂

Keepin’ it real,

Elena

Anyone can do this!

Vegetables

Attention all picky eaters, I have good news!  🙂

Going glutton-free gluten-free isn’t as bad as some might think.  This week we had some super yummy foods! 🙂

Our menu included crepes filled and/or topped with inspirational yumminess, pina colada smoothies, curried beef and cabbage, savory wild rice, make your own pizza, and even chocolate cupcakes with a zesty lime frosting! (Thanks to daughter #3 who got a cupcake maker for Christmas!)

We are definitely learning our ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’, but thus far, no gagging has occurred at the table,…..that’s always a good sign! 😉

I’ve learned that there are some great gluten-free ‘all purpose’ mixes, but it’s really not that hard to make your own, and, it’s less expensive to do it yourself.

I’ve learned that most people look at you ‘funny’ when your grocery cart is FILLED with apples, oranges, bananas, lettuce, spinach, onions, avacados, asparagus, peppers, tomatoes, fresh green beans, carrots, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, and cheese. *I think they were wondering where all of my can goods and breads were hiding.*

I’ve also learned that the above listed grocery items, cost WAY LESS than one might expect.

I’ve learned that our previous eating habits versus a car filled with the above listed groceries create wonder, therefore, causing your children to help unload the car and still wonder, “what is there to eat”? 😐  …..and then they are pleasantly surprised! 🙂

Lastly, I’ve learned that I feel better after eating a gluten-free meal and the colors of all of the foods God so wonderfully provided for us all naturally (and gluten-free) are fun and yummy!  🙂

This week’s menu will be including, homemade granola, garlic-veggie pasta, “burritos” (I’ll be listing those on our menu as “Mock Ritos” since we will be using our yummy crepe recipe, which also makes them Primal/Paleo-diet friendly.), rice bowls, chili, and waffles.

Lunch boxes will include lots of fresh fruits and veggies, cheese sticks, and yogurt. 🙂

Actually, I guess I’ve learned one other thing,…. When you eat REAL FOOD, which we had already been doing, it’s really not that hard to “switch” to eating gluten-free or even paleo style/primal.   In fact, I’d say that although our family is ‘transitioning’ to eating gluten-free, we pretty much have seen ourselves eating more of a ‘primal diet’.  *If you’re not familiar with what ‘primal eating’ is about, I would encourage you to read my next post which will show the comparison of eating styles.

Keepin’ it real,

Elena

It’s a win/win year for EVERYONE!

fireworks

Each new year we are presented with new challenges, new opportunities, and new seasons. Praise God!

The bible says, “But HE has given proof of what HE is like. HE has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven. HE gives you crops in their seasons. HE provides you with plenty of food. HE fills your hearts with joy.” Act. 14:17 (NIRV)

Well, God has sure proven Himself to be a real, loving, and providing Father around here over the years!

……and He continues to do so.

See, I was raised by a mother who was raised on a farm. She then went on to college and majored in Home Economics. (Can you even do that anymore?) Anyway, she had skills, experience, and wasn’t afraid to ‘change up’ a recipe. (win/win for me!) So I’ve always been in a kitchen girl, aka. “foodie”, learning and experimenting.

I was also raised by a mother who firmly believes in God and that He has a purpose for everything! (again, win/win for me!)

So, after I got married and our family began to grow, and boy, did it grow….. 😉 I was blessed to have the motivation, fearlessness, and skills to cook and bake from scratch. I have doubled, tripled, and quadrupled recipes on many occasions. I have ‘replaced’ and ‘substituted’ ingredients that I’m not sure I should have, but it worked, and everybody’s alive. 🙂 I love trying new foods, I love meal planning, and I love cooking with REAL food!

Good thing!

When our son got diagnosed with leukemia, one of the first things I did was find out how I could cook more healthy and healing foods for him so that he could not only survive, but thrive. I also wanted to provide the rest of my family with foods that would strengthen them so they could fight off any horrific diseases that they too may encounter.

In my studies, which were COUNTLESS hours on the internet, in books, asking nutritionists and naturopaths many questions, I decided to go to school to learn even more. I mean, I was the mother of 8 children, one receiving treatment for leukemia, I had time…………….

I became a Certified Holistic Health Coach and I continue to study and learn every single day. *My family can confirm,….they think I’m weird. Shhh!

Well,…..as Momma said, “God has a reason for everything.” This new year brings our family a new challenge. (cuz we were bored you know)

We have learned that some of us have been suffering the side effects of Celiac disease for quite some time. We thought it was other things or individual issues, but no. The range of symptoms caused by Celiacs disease vary widely, and person to person.

What does that mean?

That means that although I have experimented and enjoyed gluten-free recipes and foods in the past, I now have to completely convert my family of 10 to a completely gluten-free diet. Yep, you read right. The best (and easiest) way to handle the situation, is to make our home gluten-free.

OR,…..I could become a stay-at-home short-order-cook and make some gluten-free foods for some people, and regular foods for others. No thanks.

One of our little ones said, “do we ALL have to go GLUTTON FREE?” Despite the faux pas, “Yes” I answered.

So, what does this mean for this blog?

Well, it means that I will be posting more frequently as I journal my way through this AND it means that EVERYONE who reads this blog will still be able to eat and enjoy all of the recipes. This shouldn’t seclude anyone, but if anything, bring in more readers. Woohoo! (win/win) 😉

The great news for any of you interested in losing weight and not following a glutton-free gluten-free diet, is that if you choose to follow closely, you’ll probably lose a few pounds. (……yep, win/win AGAIN)

Now, this will be a learning experience as well as a ‘fun’ journey, I’m determined. Remember our verse at the beginning? 😉 I think I’ll post it on our fridge.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride and invite your friends to come too!

Keepin’ it real,

Elena