I posted this link on my Facebook page and it started a discussion that I felt I could better address on here.
“What does this picture tell you? My doctor has had this “processed food” on her counter ever since 2010 and 2011 respectively. I asked her why she had it out, she stated “to show people what they are putting into their bodies”. This is man-made “processed food”, not real food. Over time real food will decay, grow mold and produce a decomposing odor. This “processed food” has not done any of that, matter of fact it has kept it’s original size, shape and texture. Your body has to work harder to breakdown and digest this stuff over real food.”
I have my opinions and others have theirs. I’m not always right and I’m not telling anyone that they are wrong, but this is how I feel. And it works for us. I don’t want anyone to take it the wrong way, but I feel like I need to share my view on it. No one is a bad person for eating unhealthy. I don’t look down on people for not eating the way I do, but I don’t want others to think I’m a snob for eating a certain way either. It seems like vegetarians and vegans get a lot of flack and its a touchy subject with some people. So no bad feelings, just open thoughts.
I’m not saying if you eat fast food you’re going to be un-happy. There is a balance to everything. Eating good food, thinking good thoughts, good people around you, being good to your body and right with God… I feel like God/Creator (whomever you believe in, not trying to make this a religious thing exactly..) gave us seeds to plant in the ground and to grow delicious food to put in our bodies. I feel like eating bad things is a big let down to the whole system of things. We can do better! And that we should be taking good care of the bodies God gave us. McDonalds is definitely not manna from heaven. LOL I think about people throwing fits about tattoos and piercings, saying people aren’t treating their temple (body) in a Godly manner. I have no problems w/ tattoos and those things. I think that is sort of my thinking though when it comes to food and God. I want to take good care of my body and mind. I kept reading things about the clarity that people experience when they eat well and their mind isn’t in a fog. I kept reading about it and wanted to feel that way too. That was a big reason I started eating even better these past few months. Seems like it’s helped me get my priorities right, figuring myself out and getting right with God, purging the stuff that is taking up too much of my life. Getting the right people in my life. I’m not telling you that eating good food will put you right with God. Just that I felt like I was being true to myself and who God wants me to be. I’ve been reading a lot about the food that goes into our bodies and what it does to us. It seems like I have a clearer mind. I’m not perfect, I’m not ever going to be. Just trying to do my best and what I feel like is best for my kids. I like to cook with them and make them smell the fruit and veggies we’re cooking. Close their eyes and taste the delicious flavors. I love to cook and I hope they will grow up to love cooking too. I feel like I’m cheating them if we get unhealthy food. I don’t feel good about it. We’ve come a long way at our house, and I’ve learned a lot about food these past few years. I’m learning new things everyday and not saying a certain way is the right way, but it’s working for us. I want to help others find their way and take care of themselves. I want the people around me to be happy, healthy and around for years to come.
I attribute my love of veggies and fruits to my parents and the way we ate growing up. We ate a lot from the garden year round but at the same time we always had lots of home grown beef and pork to eat also. I didn’t really think about what was in the foods I enjoyed until I met my friend Sara when we lived in Germany. I guess it was a combination of meeting her, Cameron being born, and getting into cloth diapering. When I would look up information on cloth diapering I would stumble onto some crunchy mom blogs and sites that had a lot of information on whole eating and living. So I guess that is where things sort of started for me. I started trying to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my cooking. Living in Germany doesn’t give you a lot of options for fast food, so it forced me to learn how to cook. Cooking is a lot of fun, I’d rather cook all day in the kitchen and chop vegetables than go out to eat. And there isn’t anything fun about putting some fish sticks and fries in the oven. I learned how much I loved garlic and my spice cabinet expanded. We stopped eating bad peanut butter (which has hydrogenated oils in it), and things with HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). I started reading labels at the grocery store and noticing what was in the things I was eating. It was just an overall awareness on the whole way I was living. I was always an active person, healthy, and Happy. I always thought I was pretty lucky to have a good metabolism but I knew that a good metabolism would only get me by for so long. So I wanted to make sure I was active, healthy and happy for the rest of my life, and that my family was also. Then we moved to Arkansas and I met Miranda. Another awesome person put in my life to get me to the next step in a healthy lifestyle. I saw the documentary Food Inc. and my eyes were opened even more to the food we eat and where it comes from and about the government’s control in our food system. Then I saw No Impact Man (link here for the video info). I’ve watched both of these many times. There is so much information in them that I am always picking up something new. Miranda gave me a juicer and taught me what the vegetable kale was. I love juicing and juice a couple times a day, everyday. It helps with my horrible addiction to sugar, so when I crave sugar I just make myself some juice and that craving is satisfied. We cut out fast food except for the occasional trip to subway. We cut back a lot on the red meat we ate and started eating mostly chicken and fish (mostly salmon). Then we moved to Minnesota and I’ve met even more wonderful people that have had a positive influence on my life. The resource of Harmony Foods Co-op, that we’ve become members of. The great selection of whole foods at Luekens is something we didn’t have in Arkansas without driving a long way. Since we moved to Bemidji in August and Garrick deployed (he’s the big meat eater in our family) we’ve been a pretty vegetarian family. Its so easy to be a vegetarian when so much wonderful produce is in season. My kids love to go to the farmers market and I let them pick out whatever they want and they are so into cooking and eating that fruit or vegetable. The same goes for juicing. I let them pick the fruits to put in and then they love to see how it turns out. Its a lot of fun seeing them get excited about things like that. This upcoming spring we’re planning to put in a garden and I can’t wait to see how excited they get when they are able to go to the back yard and gather things for a meal. I’m so excited just thinking about it. I’ve watched a couple more great documentaries in the past few months, like Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. It’s on reversing chronic illnesses through juicing and whole eating, and shows how stubborn and mixed up so many Americans are. Like hearing people say ‘I’m fat and happy and I’m going to die fat and happy’, C’mon, really are you truly happy with your life and how things are?? It’s really frustrating to hear. The most recent documentary that I’ve seen is Forks over Knives. This one was the one that really pushed me into thinking I can be a vegan. It was always something I thought wasn’t for me. But the more information I’ve consumed it’s hard to watch something like that and not tell yourself ‘How can I not be a vegan after watching that’. It talks about the connection between animal products and the links to cancer and so many ailments. High bloodpressure, heart disease… the list goes on and on. I mean, if I told you that there is a chance you could reverse your diabetes, or get rid of your horrible migraines, would you simply change the way to eat? Why not give it a try? What do you have to lose? Dairy is the culprit for my kids eczema. Why wouldn’t I want to try and help them get rid of the discomfort it causes them? There is so much information out there and It is overwhelming but I really have been wanting to share my thoughts and journey to where I am now. It was a process and I’m so thankful for the people that have been placed in my life that have taught me so much. I want to help other people out there that are struggling with things and show them that it’s not that complicated. Take things in phases and you’ll get there. Watch the documentaries that I’ve listed. I believe all of them are on instant Netflix. I also want to share a great book I picked up a little while ago. It truly is a bible when it comes to vegan eating. The 30-day Vegan Challenge: The Ultimate Guide to Eating Cleaner, Getting Leaner, and Living Compassionately. It has so many brands of products and dairy alternatives. Its just a great book and I’d highly recommend it if you’re looking for a place to start. If anything just take a few of the ideas or concepts and use them. You’re not going to become a vegetarian or vegan overnight, there are groceries in your cupboards that need to be used and I don’t expect anyone to just throw things out. Okay I have done that but it was mostly candy and bad junk food, not something like a pound of butter or carton of eggs. But just think about your food and enjoy it. Do you really need to add butter to a dish or have you even tasted vanilla almond milk? I have found a wonderful resource in Pinterest for an endless amount of great recipes. (send me a note if you need an invite for the site)
A couple foodie vegan blogs that I enjoy
The Vegan Stoner
Rawmazing << she is from Minnesota too!! =)
Oh she Glows
Links for the Documentaries again
No Impact Man
Fat Sick and Nearly Dead
Forks over Knives
And there is a new one out there that I haven’t seen yet, but looks good. Its called Fresh.
Its not on netflix yet so I have been to cheap to look it up to rent somewhere.
^^ this one is from peta.org