Monday, June 7, 2010

A New Way of Eating

I'm enjoying learning a new way of eating . . . and cooking.  I'm just taking baby steps right now but I've already noticed a difference in my health.

You see, when I got married 29 years ago I didn't know how to cook.  That was good. . . and bad.  The good was that I didn't have any of the unhealthy skills under my belt like deep frying and boiling vegetables to death.  The bad news was that I learned to cook the most "popular" way at the time which was "light" cooking.  I thought I was eating an extremely healthy diet because I was eating low fat foods, light salad dressings, diet drinks, and skinless chicken. 

Well, now many years later, I've learned that whole, real foods are what my body really needs.  Foods without chemicals, preservatives, or artificial anything.  Even better are fresh foods, locally grown.

I was first inspired to begin this journey by my cousin, Jo-Lynne, who authors Musings of a Housewife and several other blogs.  She blogged about her journey to healthier eating for herself and her family.  She has made great strides in changing out unhealthy for healthy.  Jo-Lynne is sort of a jump in with both feet kind of girl and I'm a stick my big toe in the water to test it kind of girl which would explain my lagging behind in the journey so far.

So far these are the changes I've made:

Replaced:                         With:

~margarine                         ~real butter
~skim milk                         ~whole organic milk
~boxed cereal                    ~homemade granola
~bottled salad dressing      ~homemade salad dressing
~honey wheat bread           ~homemade wheat bread
~store bought eggs             ~free range organic eggs
~Campbells soup               ~homemade soup
~canned tomatoes              ~home grown/roasted then frozen
~canned beef/chicken
   stock                               ~homemade stock from organic beef and chicken
~sweet tea with sugar        ~sweet tea with honey
~hybrid veggies grown
  with chemicals                ~heirloom veggies grown in my backyard
~white rice                        ~brown rice
~white pasta                      ~whole wheat pasta
~vegetable oil                   ~organic olive oil and organic coconut oil
~microwave popcorn        ~old fashioned popcorn cooked on the stove in coconut oil
~table salt                         ~kosher salt and sea salt
~canned beans                  ~dried beans soaked and cooked
~canned veggies               ~fresh or frozen veggies (organic when possible)

I've probably made a few other changes but I can't think of any more right now.  I know I have a lot more to learn but I find it easier to take "small bites" at a time. 

My last doctor's visit showed that my kidney function had actually increased (which is a miracle).  I believe that God can cure me and He can use healthy foods to do it if he wants to.  Even if I still have to have a kidney transplant I know that this healthy eating is helping to me feel the best I can.  My nephrology doctor says I am his only patient who comes in for a monthly visit saying " I feel great!".  I am quite anemic due to the disease but I don't feel the effects too much because I am not depriving my body of the nutrients it needs.

An added bonus is that even with buying organic (usually more expensive) foods I am still saving $100 dollars or more a month.  Additionally, I have lost 4 pounds by eating full fat foods.  Who knew?

I'm not preaching to anyone about what they eat.  I'm just sharing what works for me and my family.  What changes, if any, have you made to your family's food lately?  Any ideas of things I should try?


  1. Jo-Lynne shoved me in the right direction too. I'm pretty slow about making changes myself though. Checking labels is what has really slowed me down. I've made the effort to knock out the HFCS, I try to buy the foods with the least amount of chemicals/dyes and I am focusing most of our meals and snacks on meat, fruits and veggies. I'm slow, but I'm getting there! I feel alot better when I eat the right stuff though...I've just gotta knock my pop habit LOL

    I'm so glad that your diet change is helping - that is awesome!

  2. I would say you have made A LOT OF changes!! :-) And reading this makes me SO happy!

  3. Will you please let me know how you make your sweet tea with honey? We just moved to NC from WA & I was shown "the southern way" to make sweet tea (good old Luzianne tea bags & white granulated sugar) - anyway, I have some raw honey that I'd love to use. Just need to know how much! :) Thanks!

  4. Hi Bree, I couldn't find an email address on your blog, so I'm answering your question here in the comments.

    I Make my tea in a 1 1/2 quart pitcher. I use 5 regular size tea bags and 1/4 cup honey. I think honey is stronger tasting than sugar so I use a less amount than I would if I was making it with pure sugar. I steep the tea bags for 3-4 minutes, squeezing out the extra tea and then pour the tea over the honey. Stir well and add water and ice to fill the pitcher. I have been slowly reducing the amount of honey we use over the past few months. Your family might prefer it to be sweeter.

  5. yeah for you. i read jo lynnes blog & have slowly made a few changes too. my eyes have been opened. glad to hear your kidney numbers have improved, keep it up.

  6. I am so glad your kidney numbers have improved! Thank you for this post and sharing what works for you. I learned how to cook in the low fat years also, so this way of eating is interesting to me. Thank you for all the links! Again, I am so glad you are feeling good!

  7. Good for you! I have been changing my eating so much in the past year or so...I now only go to my litle market that sells only organic veg and fruits and everything else is healthy...I hardly even go to a regular grocery store anymore. Sometimes I see a good buy on veg or fruit in the grocery store (non-organic) and buy it thinking I will save money...but I get so mad at myself when I get it home...sometimes I even just throw it away which makes me even more why would I want to put pesticides in my body...that is how I picture non-organic now a opening a bottle of pesticide and drinking it...gross, I know but in reality that is what we are doing...looking forward to reading your previous posts...

  8. when you break it down like you did it actually sounds easy. i'll give it a try. thanks

  9. We've made many of those same changes! I'm curious about the homemade salad dressing. Do you have a good recipe? I'd rather make my own than buy the bottled kind at the store. :)

  10. Kelly, since this post about eating whole foods, I have been reading about the whole food movement and am shocked at what I have been eating. The first thing I did was pour the Dr. Pepper down the drain! Thank you for breaking down how you have made changes in your post. It makes it easier for me.


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