Sunday, May 30, 2010

A Newer Leaf

There I was, happily browsing through a chapter of a book here and there on healthier eating, gleaning a few tidbits as I went, but was unable to put very many into practice because of my busy-ness. Although, being busy hasn't changed, something has. A while back I watched a small bit of an Oprah show that had Alicia Silverstone on it promoting her new book. I just acquired it about 2 weeks ago.

I had been trying to "shock" myself with other books, tv and other that would slap me with info about the terrible things that are happening to our food and what is happening to our bodies because of what we are eating. I was hoping if I had some strong emotion from something I read or watched, I would have enough strength to take the time needed to change my habits and learn some new tricks. So far, nothing had clicked. However, what Alicia said in this book seemed to click with me. I could relate to some of her experiences and I think that was a big part of it. She talked about how she had gone off the pill and suffered from terrible acne because of it. Eliminating dairy completely cleared this up for her. I am currently on my second attempt at discontinuing the birth control pill. I developed horrible acne the first time and finally gave up after 8 months when I realized my face was becoming scarred from the acne. When I discovered this book, I had been off the pill for 2 months and my acne was just starting to flare up. I am definitely a dairy girl and had never thought of giving up dairy, but I decided to do an "experiment" and eliminate as much as I could and see if it made any difference. I was completely surprised at how relatively easy it was to toss the dairy out of my diet. I think it would be much harder if I didn't live in a larger centre where there are amazing stores that have a good number of substitutes for almost anything dairy you can think of.
I have now been mostly dairy free for about ten days. It is really hard to make a judgement at this point, but already the acne seems to have improved. There has been no new blemishes and the part of my forehead that was looking "bumpy" seems to have smoothed out.
The big secret is that, like Alicia, I have also been living mostly vegan for those ten days as well. It has been quite a bit of fun scouting out my local organic supermarket for things that I have read about over the past year and taking a little extra time in the care and feeding of myself. I don't know if this is a permanent thing, but so far it feels good and hasn't been terribly hard.
I mentioned yesterday about how I don't cook and don't know much about cooking. Sometimes I can't follow a recipe because I don't know what a term that is used means (ie. blanch, braise, mince, poach - although nowadays you can just look these things up on the internet!). I was a little afraid to take things out of my diet too quickly without knowing how to feed myself properly without those things. I have been very pleased with myself so far. Yesterday I took all the veggies that were in the fridge, chopped them up and plopped them into a pan with some olive oil and sauteed them. I had asparagus, carrots, jalapenos, pea pods, green onions, and daikon ( a new veggie that I had just bought for the first time because of being mentioned in The Kind Diet). I scooped them onto a whole wheat wrap and it was really yummy.
Today, my husband wanted to go to the grocery store on the way home. I saw some pineapple at a good price and decided to make a fresh fruit salsa even though I have never made one before and I am not even sure that I have ever even tasted one! I am completely unsure where the inspiration or the knowledge for this came from, but I did it and it was not bad. I chopped up pineapple, mango, red onion and a bit of jalapeno and parsley. I added a little lime juice when my husband pulled up a fruit salsa recipe with an app on his new iPad and we saw that it had some lime juice in it. Otherwise the recipe was very similar to what I was doing - I still want to know how on earth I knew how to do this.
I am planning on making my veggie wrap again tonight, but with the addition of some new veggies that I picked up at the grocery store and some black beans that I soaked overnight and cooked today, which is another new thing for me.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A New Leaf

The History: I eat awful stuff. I don't really cook. I run a business and homeschool 3 kids and do quite a lot of other things. Although I never knew much about cooking or food, over the years I have gone from bad to worse. These days almost everything comes out of a box, and if it can't be ready in 15 minutes or less, it probably isn't happening. I started looking into healthier food probably about a year ago. My hubby bought a bread maker for me for my birthday this spring that still sits unopened. We have done small things. I started buying ancient grain bread as opposed to our local grocery store brand of 60% whole wheat. I found quinoa and ancient grains at Costco and started eating that quite a bit, although noone else in my family will eat it except my teenage daughter (unlike Mikey, she eats anything). I am drinking more water. In the last couple weeks though, things have taken a dramatic turn. I will tell you about that tomorrow, and we will see where my "wannabe foodie" journey will lead me from here.