Sometimes when you’re in the process of absorbing a ton of new information, it’s tough to digest it all. Let me see if I can back this up a little.
I’ve always been health conscious. Whether or not I did the right thing by eating right and exercising, I was always conscious of it. I knew there was a direct relationship between my health and what I put in my mouth and how much I did or didn’t move.
I was brainwashed. There’s no other way to look at it but I bought into the conventional “wisdom.” I was striving towards low/no fat, little to no meats, lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. I believed we had to exercise 5 to 6 days a week to remain healthy and thin.
Over the past month and a half, I challenged conventional wisdom. I questioned everything I believed in. I reexamined all of my health habits. Listed below are just a few questions that came up during my dietary and health reexamination.
- Do I really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day
- Do I need to take strenuous spinning classes several times a week
- Should I stop eating meat?
- Is striving to cut fat from my diet good?
- Do I need to eat copious amounts of vegetables?
- How much sugar is too much?
- Is wine bad for me?
- What about coffee?
- Is raw milk bad?
- Are organic vegetables and fruits really better?
- Is whole wheat good or bad?
- Is salt really as bad for me as they say it is?
- Do I really need to take vitamins?
- Have I ruined my children?
I examined my foundation and found many cracks in it. I don’t know if you’ve ever done this but it is especially unnerving to discover your very core is flawed.
Research & Action
One thing I learned in my years as a freelance writer is it is easy to fall into analysis paralysis. With all the health information available, it is easy to spend time sitting, reading, analyzing and discussing the pros and cons of every dietary shift. To avoid this stumbling block, I decided to act while I learned.
Instead of going from forum to forum and person to person asking for opinions of what will or won’t work, I decided to experiment on myself so I will have first-hand knowledge. While experimenting I read, listened and followed. Below is a listing of some of the things I read, listened to and followed:
- Mark’s Daily Apple
- Easy Paleo
- Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Blog
- Latest in Paleo
- The Health Wyze Report
- Paleo Diet Lifestyle
- The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D.
- Ron Rosedale, M.D.
- Wheat Belly Blog
- Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis
- Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
- Why We Get Fat and What We Can Do About It by Gary Taubes
- The Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson
A host of YouTube interviews that I will link to once I find them again.
Action Coupled with Information
While digesting all of the above (no pun intended), I gave up wheat, processed foods and sugar. I also dropped most of the high glycemic index carbs such as white rice, white potatoes and corn.
To my diet, I added tons of fish (especially salmon), grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, tons of vegetables, coconut flour, fats of all kinds including the “dreaded” saturated fat found in fatty cuts of grass-fed beef. I use heavy cream in my daily cup of coffee and eat cheesy eggs almost daily (just a hint of what I eat).
After about 45 days this is what I’ve discovered so far:
- All signs of menopausal hot flashes are gone. No, I’m no longer drinking sage tea and I forget to apply progesterone cream.
- My skin is softer. I used to suffer from rough hands. Using Dr. Bronner’s soap helped tremendously in softening my hands, but they are even softer now. This is unheard of considering that within the last 30 to 60 days I’ve been painting furniture and scrubbing my hands vigorously several times a day to remove paint, primer and varnish.
- My energy level is constant. No afternoon slumps
- I’ve lost a few pounds (don’t know how many for sure because I stopped getting on the scale).
- My midsection is smaller. Most of my belly bloat is gone.
- My sleep seems deeper. I never had problems sleeping (except for when I used to suffer from hot flashes), but now my sleep is more restful.
- My brain seems to be sharper.
- I’m not hungry. I don’t have the need to snack during the day. I eat until satiated and that seems to last for 7 or 8 hours at a time. Although I don’t eat often, I eat well when I do eat.
This is only after 45 days. I’m wondering what will happen several months down the line.
Each one Teach One
Impressed with my results, my husband has joined me. He has quite a bit more weight to lose than I do and his results are moving along at a steady clip. He’s already had to move his belt buckle over a notch and his energy level seems to be evening out; this after 3 weeks of dietary changes.
He first lamented over giving up his favorite food, bread. But, after reading Wheat Belly and Why We Get Fat, I’ve not heard another hint of complaint from him.
Answers to Some of My Questions
I’m still seeking answers to some of my questions, but this is what I’ve found out so far:
- Do I really need to drink 8 glasses of water a day? Yes! I want to flush out all of the toxins that were previously stored in excess fat. As I burn fat, I want to wash those toxins out.
- Do I need to take strenuous spinning classes several times a week? No. Read Mark’s Daily Apple blog. He addresses that. I go for a daily walk and will soon implement a few other types of weight-bearing exercises, but for now, lifting heavy pieces of furniture works for me.
- Should I stop eating meat? No.
- Is striving to cut fat from my diet good? No.
- Do I need to eat copious amounts of vegetables? It can’t hurt. I love vegetables, especially kale, broccoli and collards. Eating tons of those vegetables is a good thing. I stay away from starchy vegetables, however.
- How much sugar is too much? As far as I’m concerned, any sugar is too much.
- Is wine bad for me? If it is, I’ve got to die from something, so I’m not giving it up.
- What about coffee? Ditto the wine response.
- Is raw milk bad? I haven’t had it yet, but my research tells me I need to get over to my local dairy farm that is “approved” to sell raw milk and stock up.
- Are organic vegetables and fruits really better? Yes!
- Is whole wheat good or bad? The wheat we get now is not the same wheat our grandparents ate. This genetically modified version is not good. Read Wheat Belly.
- Is salt really as bad for me as they say it is? I look at it this way. My body can manufacture glucose from foods I eat. It cannot manufacture salt. Therefore, I must provide my body salt through my diet. When you give up the processed foods and carbs, you’ll need to consume a little more salt (read Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes, he explains it much better than I can).
- Do I really need to take vitamins? I do. I still take Vitamin C (I love vitamin C – Read the book Vitamin C, the Real Story by Andrew Saul), B, D3, E and magnesium.
- Have I ruined my children? Maybe I have. One survived through teen years and educates me on the need to eat healthy non-processed foods. The other one, well, she’s still a teen and eats nothing but tan food (fries, nuggets, etc). We’re still working on her…there’s hope.
I was a bit wordy on this post, but with so much going on it’s hard to condense it. My next posts will be shorter and more specific.
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It didn’t seem long to me b/c I was captivated…LOL. Some of the things you wrote I had recently heard about. The hardest part for me will be the sugar…I never had a sweet tooth until I hit menopause (I had surgical menopause). Thanks for all the info. I will go back and check out the reading material. I appreciate your sharing.