Monday, January 21, 2013

My Journey to Clean Eating

So I mentioned briefly in my last post about my decision to cut out gluten and dairy from my diet, but if you didn't read that post, I will recap it here.  At the beginning of the year, I made a decision to cut my diet significantly. This was only supposed to last a few days, but as I began getting further into it, I realized that this is an emotional issue not just a weight issue.  So I chose to stick with it.  I have previously read "Made to Crave" and I was reminded that I am craving food, not God like I am meant to do.

So I kept eating really clean.  I had basically just fruits, veggies, and nuts.  I would have some almond milk to get my calcium (and it tastes good!) and I would often add some pre-made fruit smoothies for breakfast.  I began to realize that by eating cleaner foods, I was really giving my body the things it needed! Not only do I feel so much better physically, but I have also lost over 10 pounds in just a few weeks.  I definitely did not expect that much of a change!

So why eat clean? Before I was eating clean, I was fine. I didn't notice that I was more tired than I should be or that my skin was breaking out because of my food choices.  I just thought it was a result of having a baby.  I also didn't have reactions to processed foods, because my body was so used to processed foods, that it didn't know any differently.
                                                                                    Ignorance is bliss, right?

Just because I didn't notice those things, didn't mean that they weren't there.  Since cleaning up my eating, I have seen such a change in my life.  I think more clearly, my skin has nearly completely cleared up, I have lost weight, I feel generally better, and I enjoy the things I eat more than I ever have! So, yes, all those processed foods are pretty tasty, but I have really learned to look at how they affect my body and have decided it's just not worth it!

What does eating clean mean? By choosing to eat clean, I am saying that I value the food the Lord has provided and therefore I am going to eat foods that are natural.  I eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and some lean meats (I choose to eat this minimally).  You can also have dairy and grains in there, but I keep those out of my personal diet. Eating clean is simply eating foods that are pesticide, preservative free and therefore giving your body the most nutrients you can give it!

Why gluten free? The biggest reason that I have chosen to take out gluten from my diet is because I am a carboholic! I absolutely love my breads and anything related to breads. So I felt it was important to simply take away the temptation.  I have added in a few gluten free carbs, however I eat those in moderation and try to be careful of how much of that I consume.  I also have felt that I get a little gassy when I have gluten (i.e. beer on new years eve).  So I have just chosen to avoid it.

Why dairy free? I think this one is even more important than the gluten.  I have read in several places that many people have a dairy intolerance to some level, but most people don't even realize it.  I have also read that taking out dairy can really help clear up your skin.  The largest reason I chose to keep it away it is because of simply how my body feels without it.  Adding dairy back in would result in me becoming really gassy, bloated, and feeling generally sluggish.  I could choose to have these on occasion if I wanted to, but I feel that it's simply easier to just not mess with it at all.

So what now? Now I begin to find new ways to eat that are incredibly tasty.  A typical day for me looks like this:
Breakfast- Green Goodness Fruit Smoothie or 2 egg whites with veggies and some almond milk
Lunch-leftovers typically or a salad or a cup of fruit smoothie
Dinner- a sweet/white potato and sauteed veggies or vegan, gluten free chili/soup
Snacks- snack bars, fruit and veggies, or a big glass of juice.

I don't count calories or feel as though my life is limited because of my diet.  In fact, I feel more free than I ever have been.  I no longer feel bloated after I have a meal or that I am missing out. Instead I know that by choosing to eat the food God has given me, I am becoming a better steward of my body and therefore enjoying my life even more!

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