As I’ve been away from Facebook and the online world this week, I have spent a lot of time in prayer and thinking through things. I looked back at my life the past year, and realized that my most freeing and joyful time was over the summer. It’s not that life wasn’t crazy (we sold our house, bought a new house, moved, was out of town a lot, etc), but it’s that I was the most balanced I have ever been in the area of exercise and food… I also wasn’t on Facebook. I felt good physically, but most importantly I felt amazing mentally and emotionally.
I desperately want to come back to this place…
Here is a post that I wrote last summer, and this is my goal again.
For years I have struggled with consistency in healthy eating (and I struggled with knowing WHAT was healthy). I have given up so many times because either it was too difficult to keep up with everything (especially when trying to make all our foods from scratch) or I would eat great at home, but bomb anytime I wasn’t at home (eating lots of fried foods, drinking lots of soda, etc). I felt like I should just give up… plus, I was tired of all of the mixed info on healthy eating out there (I followed Weston A Price for a while and they would pretty much tell you that anyone else’s way was wrong).
I have finally come to the conclusion that I don’t really agree with the Weston A Price way of eating, for me. Through shedding this desire to keep up with a specific “way of eating,” I am finally on my way to consistency and motivation in eating well.
My biggest goals are:
- A new “necessary” for eating well is that I need to be able to buy from our local grocery store (I mostly use Costco, Sprouts, Target, or Walmart). Relying heavily on outside sources (co-ops, raw milk farms, Azure Standard, etc) is one reason why I have struggled so much with consistency (I realized this through talking with a friend and discussing that this was their biggest necessity). I also have found that I spend less using a local grocery store…
- Whole, real foods are necessary (this won’t change, but I no longer follow the Weston A Price high concentration of animal fats/meats). I don’t think it’s a big deal, though, if I use a little bit of ranch with my raw carrots and broccoli, or if I use a store bought dressing, etc. I am imperfect, living a pretty busy life. I try to just make the majority of what I eat from a real food source.
- High concentration of veggies and fruits (including lots of salads)… this is the majority of what I eat now! I have branched out a lot in this area. I always eat fruits/veggies and add a healthy protein and fat.
- Milk consists of a hormone free/antibiotic free 1%. We will also drink almond or coconut milk (especially in everything that we cook because my daughter can’t have dairy, and in my smoothies).
- Using mostly olive/coconut oil, avocados, nuts, nut butters, olives, Greek yogurt, etc for our fats. We eat cheese in moderation (cheddar, feta, string, cottage, mozzarella, etc) and we use very little butter, now. We do prefer butter over fake fats, though. We use canola oil sometimes.
- Still do mostly whole grains. I make things from scratch when I have time, but if that doesn’t work out, I at least buy whole wheat/whole grain breads, corn tortillas, etc.
- I drink a smoothie almost every day. I usually include Greek yogurt, coconut or almond milk, spirulina, spinach/kale, frozen fruits (peaches, blueberries, strawberries, etc).
- Breakfasts consist of a mixture of some of these items: cottage cheese with pineapple, fruits (grapes, melons, pineapple, berries, bananas, etc), oatmeal, granola and Greek yogurt, granola and milk, scrambled eggs, toast, peanut butter and raw honey sandwich, omelet, etc.
- Lunches consist of a large salad topped with lots of veggies (today’s was a salad of green and red leaf lettuce, spinach leaves, tomato, kalamata olives, pepperocinis- sliced, jarred banana peppers, feta cheese, mushrooms, and lite lime dressing by Newman’s Own), a sandwich with fruits/veggies as a side, hummus, string cheese, boiled eggs, avocado/guacamole, etc. Sometimes I’ll have a few pita chips and/or tortilla chips .
- Dinners vary…we eat much less meat… buying mostly chicken or fish. When we do buy other types of meat (beef or pork), I try to buy good quality, grass fed and/or no hormones (this won’t change, either!). We eat lots of beans… we’re experimenting with different types (after years of eating only pinto and black).
- I’m trying to incorporate superfoods into my diet (spirulina and coconut oil for example).
- I take a daily supplement of fish oil (I take cod liver oil).
- I eat a lot less sugar (now, mostly in fruit). I drink very little coffee (compared to what I used to drink)… and rarely drink sodas (we decided on “no sodas” about 4 weeks ago, and I have done a pretty good job! I have decided to have a little bit every once in a while as to not feel like I am depriving myself. It’s working well.
- I drink mostly water… trying to take in at least 8 cups a day… often times taking in up to 12 cups.
- Our family doesn’t eat commercially fried foods anymore (which has cut down heavily on our eating out!).
The biggest change that has taken place is in my heart. I used to view healthy eating as something that everyone else said I should do… and I did it because I just thought it was a good idea. I never had the motivation with-in to continue and be consistent. Since I have gotten off of Facebook, and I know that not many people read my blog , I have found that my motivation comes from with-in now. And I have also realized that anything I do, I should do for the glory of God. I used to separate my relationship with Him and my health… but I have realized lately (thanks to the book/devotional Made to Crave) that they should be combined. My body is His creation, and I want to be a good steward of it. I have more strength and motivation that comes from Him… and with God as my source, I am able to continue even in the hardest moments. It’s not about looking a certain way, doing things because everyone else does it, etc… it’s about glorifying God through the choices that I make… including in my eating and exercising. I feel more at peace than I ever have before, my depression/anxiety is to a minimum, I have more energy, and I crave healthy foods and exercise. Another positive is that I have lost about 4-5 pounds in the past few weeks. It just helps me to feel like what I’m doing is actually having an affect on my body.
I no longer allow my food addictions to control my life! It is a freeing thing!
We can’t afford the gym right now, and I can’t train for a half marathon (thanks to foot issues), but my desire is to also be balanced in my exercise and be happy with whatever type I can get in… even if it’s just walking .
I don’t want to focus on weight loss, but on health in general.
I’m praying that between deactivating my Facebook account again, and getting back to a more balanced approach with eating, I will feel better mentally/emotionally. It’s not about perfection, it’s about health!
I’m also looking forward to the fact that it’s starting to get warmer, which means I will be able to do more of the outdoor activities that I love! Robert and I are planning on going back-packing over spring break, and we are planning on camping with a family that we’re good friends with soon! I love being outdoors, and that makes a huge difference for me as well!
I’m excited about trying this all again. I have gone full circle, and looking back, I feel this way is best!