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Tips and Hints for a Newbie?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I didn't see a spot for this, so hopefully this one is right.

 

DF and I have decided we want to start eating better, and eating more whole foods, natural, some vegetarian (at least for now, possibly completely eventually), but I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't know where to start, or how to start, what staples I will need, anything like that. So I guess what I'm looking for is what did you start with/how did you start eating whole foods, or have you just always eaten that way? What recommendations (cookbooks/websites/other resources) do you have?

post #2 of 8

Hello, I was used to eating whole natural unprocessed foods (homestyle) but decided to "get healthy" in my late 20s and introduced a low-fat near-vegetarian diet to my family. After about a year we were all in relatively poor health with frequent colds, fatigue, and my slim husband and daughter lost weight. I gradually changed our diet to primal/paleo style, then gradually adjusted the fat/carb balance. We have been eating high fat low carb for about 10 years now. So we are basically eating "homestyle" again, but without all the carbs.

 

My advice in getting started is to cut out processed foods and sugars to start with. 

 

Since we eat low-carb, there are some foods we simply don't eat at all, like pizza, sandwiches, and spaghetti - basically anything that is mostly starch. Our meals tend to look the same: a large piece of meat, salad greens, and a little potato or pasta under fat. I guess we changed our thinking about what a "meal" is - that instead of concocted dishes with names we just eat "food." It's still possible to get a wide variety of flavors so you don't get bored. It's a lot easier to prepare meals this way.

 

I personally do not agree that vegetarian = healthy simply because meat isn't involved. I think it's possible to be a healthy vegetarian, but to me it seems that decision is more a question of personal ethics than health. My opinion on this tends to be in the minority of mainstream dietary recommendations and discussions, however.

 

A votre sante,

Puma


Edited by PumaBearclan - 11/15/12 at 8:31am
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PumaBearclan View Post

Hello, I was used to eating whole natural unprocessed foods (homestyle) but decided to "get healthy" in my late 20s and introduced a low-fat near-vegetarian diet to my family. After about a year we were all in relatively poor health with frequent colds, fatigue, and my slim husband and daughter lost weight. I gradually changed our diet to primal/paleo style, then gradually adjusted the fat/carb balance. We have been eating high fat low carb for about 10 years now. So we are basically eating "homestyle" again, but without all the carbs.

 

My advice in getting started is to cut out processed foods and sugars to start with. 

 

Since we eat low-carb, there are some foods we simply don't eat at all, like pizza, sandwiches, and spaghetti - basically anything that is mostly starch. Our meals tend to look the same: a large piece of meat, salad greens, and a little potato or pasta under fat. I guess we changed our thinking about what a "meal" is - that instead of concocted dishes with names we just eat "food." It's still possible to get a wide variety of flavors so you don't get bored. It's a lot easier to prepare meals this way.

 

I personally do not agree that vegetarian = healthy simply because meat isn't involved. I think it's possible to be a healthy vegetarian, but to me it seems that decision is more a question of personal ethics than health. My opinion on this tends to be in the minority of mainstream dietary recommendations and discussions, however.

 

A votre sante,

Puma

 

I guess I did come across as I thought vegetarian = healthy, but that's not how I intended it to sound. We aren't choosing vegetarianism because I/we think it's healthy(ier), but DF is Buddhist, and from what I understand, he would like to go vegetarian because of that, and I just sometimes can't stand eating meat. I do realize I came off the way you interpreted it, though, so I apologize.

 

We are finding out more and more about DS and DD's allergies/sensitivities, that I guess it just makes sense to try and get back to the least messed with way to eat food, and, theoretically, at least to me, that should make it easier to pinpoint any other offenders and eliminate them, as well.

post #4 of 8

I meant that I don't agree with the mainstream view of vegetarianism... Sorry for the confusion. The mainstream idea is that vegetarianism tends to be low-fat and is thus healthier. That is the approach that I adopted that was unsuccessful for our family. Since we eat a meat and animal-fat based diet, my suggestions will not be very helpful to you. However, Indian cuisine is often vegetarian and it relies heavily on dairy fat. Dairy fat (cream, butter, ghee) does not have as many of the sensitizing agents that milk does. Dairy from goats is also supposed to be less allergenic.

 

We have never had allergies or sensitivities, but from dietary discussions I've seen over the years, dairy, nuts, and gluten are the most common allergens.

 

I personally think that food additives, especially preservatives, are the cause for most diet-based health problems. I've eaten very little processed food throughout my life so I had no trouble avoiding it. Quitting concentrated sugar was harder for me, not dessert so much as fruit juice. I also drank a lot of milk for a few years until I realized how much natural sugar is in milk.

 

Sugar is also a very common food additive, it seems to be in everything from pasta sauces to mayonnaise.

 

It took me awhile to adjust my palate to more savory flavors. Now I don't care for sweets at all and never crave them. I'm glad to be rid of that!

 

~Puma


Edited by PumaBearclan - 11/15/12 at 9:44am
post #5 of 8

Good for you for asking about this and making it a priority......this transition takes time and it really is alot about baby steps. I started my journal towards whole food eating, and really undersnating what I was eating and where it came from about 4 years ago and it is only in the past year that i feel I really "get it." I always ate decently, was raised in a home that valued food, and meal time, but we ate our fair share of junk, mac and cheese from a box, occasional fast food, etc Some books I would recommend our Nourishing Traditions, Eating Clean, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Food Rules, The Omnivores Dilema...lot of great info on what whole foods are.

 

As a general rule food should be what it is...it shouldn't need a label.....yogurt should be just milk, rice is rice, fruits and veggies don't have a label. This seems simple enough but it really helps me to make good choices. We eat everything and do not really struggle with food sensitivities, but we strive to eat foods in there simplilies form. I eeat what and bread...but I make my own and I know that my bread only containes 4 ingredients. I drink whole raw milk from our neighbor and make cheese and yugurt from this. We do eat some meat, but we really try to know where it comes from and who raised it. The bulk of may diet is grains, vegetables, nuts/seeds, milk and cheese, with some fruit.

 

This all sounds really good as I type it and for the most part we follow this but I am not a purist by any means...I enjoy the occasional processed cookie or even a diet coke...ahhh...but for the most part the more you eat whole foods the more your body will crave them. Keep it simple!
 

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by avismama24 View Post

Good for you for asking about this and making it a priority......this transition takes time and it really is alot about baby steps. I started my journal towards whole food eating, and really undersnating what I was eating and where it came from about 4 years ago and it is only in the past year that i feel I really "get it." I always ate decently, was raised in a home that valued food, and meal time, but we ate our fair share of junk, mac and cheese from a box, occasional fast food, etc Some books I would recommend our Nourishing Traditions, Eating Clean, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, Food Rules, The Omnivores Dilema...lot of great info on what whole foods are.

 

As a general rule food should be what it is...it shouldn't need a label.....yogurt should be just milk, rice is rice, fruits and veggies don't have a label. This seems simple enough but it really helps me to make good choices. We eat everything and do not really struggle with food sensitivities, but we strive to eat foods in there simplilies form. I eeat what and bread...but I make my own and I know that my bread only containes 4 ingredients. I drink whole raw milk from our neighbor and make cheese and yugurt from this. We do eat some meat, but we really try to know where it comes from and who raised it. The bulk of may diet is grains, vegetables, nuts/seeds, milk and cheese, with some fruit.

 

This all sounds really good as I type it and for the most part we follow this but I am not a purist by any means...I enjoy the occasional processed cookie or even a diet coke...ahhh...but for the most part the more you eat whole foods the more your body will crave them. Keep it simple!
 


I apologize for all the typos...I just reread my post...I am one tired mama on this Friday night...sorry!

post #7 of 8

The best thing you can do so you don't get overwhelmed, is to do only one change at a time.  For instance, start making smoothies for one of your meals.  They don't require any fancy equipment or any cooking skill.  They will boost your energy level and begin to make a huge improvement in your health.  Green smoothies are best- make the base mostly fruit and add a handful of spinach or half of an avocado. 

 

Then once you have that mastered, start to work on more of your diet. 

 

I have a free Healthy Kitchen and Pantry Makeover eBook on my website that has a list of healthy food to stock your pantry with when you are ready to tackle that. 

 

Congratulations for making your health a priority!

 

Becky Mauldin, N.D.

http://www.getpurevitality.com/

post #8 of 8

I am trying to do the same thing as well.  I was thinking about jumping in to paleo and then felt like I might feel more success if I slowly make changes and have a chance to be proud of that instead of feeling like I fail if I can't switch over completely.  Sugar is a tough one for me and I love mt. dew.  It makes me so happy, so I am working on finding something less bad for me.  I may not do it perfectly and I may allow myself one a day even, but it's better than where I was.  My goal for today is to buy some organic produce that is available locally and try to plan healthy salads and snacks using these.  Luckily, I have a great source of beef from a neighbor who uses my pasture for his cows, so I know a lot about this meat!!  Then my kiddo hunted a deer this year, so we have deer meat.  My neighbor also grows a garden and had so much that he let me pick from his garden and I froze what I could.  I am hoping these local healthy unprocessed foods can help me with my transition.  I think my taste buds will also adjust slowly which will only help me.  I also think the slow transition will help with my kiddos.  

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