As I mentioned yesterday, Shape.com has asked me for a short “essay” about my healthy eating blog. Although few of the essays from other bloggers that have been published are very long, it can be up to 500 words.
Mine runs 495.
Jen of Sprite’s Keeper offered to proof the essay, and I’m glad she did – she reminded me what I needed to omit and, more importantly, emphasize. I submitted the essay yesterday morning; it’s still not up yet, but I’m sure they are busy people. I have to admit, though, that I’m a bit curious to see if they’ll post it at all. You see, I spent a great deal of time yesterday evening perusing the “healthy eating” section of their site, and they are still toeing the whole grains/low-fat line – so much so that many, if not most, of their recipes are not only low-fat but vegetarian as well, with a healthy smattering of vegan recipes; they are even spotlighting raw vegan recipes at the moment. (Should I even mention how much they seem to love Dr. Oz?)
As someone who advocates a meat-rich diet abundant in natural fats while eschewing those hearthealthywholegrains, I don’t think I’m going to become their poster girl any time soon. At any rate, my brother asked if I was going to post the essay on my blog, so here it is. I’ll let you know if/when they publish it over at Shape.com.
Like a great many people in the United States, I’ve had a weight issue almost my entire life. It never seemed to affect my health, so I just adopted the “big boned” approach and kept going, until I turned 40. Then, like a great many people in the U.S., my body seemed to start falling apart. By 45, I was just a mess: constantly exhausted, horrible mood swings, anxiety, periods of insomnia that would last days (sometimes weeks), arthritis in both of my hands, and odd little pains in my shoulders, back, arms and chest. I couldn’t walk a quarter of a mile without needing to rest. My doctors performed every test they could think of, but nothing seemed to be actually wrong with me.
By last spring, just a few months after I turned 47, I’d had enough. I sat my husband down and told him that my diet was going to change, and since I did all of the cooking in our house that meant his diet was going to change as well. He was very supportive (I know he was terribly worried about my health), so I began to research healthy diets. In May 2010, I read Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and discovered the Weston A. Price Foundation. To say I was astounded by the thought that animal fats were not only not bad for us, but actually beneficial, is something of an understatement. Within days I’d purged our house of all industrial “vegetable” oils (yes, including canola oil), as well as refined sugar and flour, along with everything that was processed, replacing these chemicals and toxins with healthy, natural, whole – the way nature intended – ingredients. Within a week, just one week, the changes were astounding; my energy increased, my mood swings and anxiety decreased, I was sleeping more soundly, my arthritis was much less painful and the odd aches and pains had lessened in frequency and intensity.
But our dietary changes did not end there – I stopped shopping at the grocery store. We purchased a 20-cubic-foot standing freezer and filled it with grass-fed beef and pastured pork and chicken. We began visiting farmer’s markets and obtaining our eggs, dairy, fruits and vegetables from local farmers, learning more about where our food really came from, knowing exactly what was going into our bodies. Shortly after that, I drastically reduced the amount of grains we ate and completely eliminated gluten-bearing grains…and the rest of my symptoms disappeared.
I’ve always loved to cook – I began Jan’s Sushi Bar in February 2008 as a combination personal/food blog – but since we’ve changed our lifestyle (because it certainly isn’t a diet) it’s gone to a completely different level. We don’t miss grains or sugar, and we’ve lost our fear of dietary fat. And we’ve lost weight; my husband has lost 40 pounds, and I’ve lost nearly 45 –almost effortlessly, but the weight loss isn’t the best part of all this. It’s how much better we feel.