Share how you became a healthy eater. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 03-15-2005, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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I came to natural/healthy eating late in life. Several years ago, I was listening to a woman talk about her battle with cancer and how the doctors sent her home to finish out her life. She decided that she would research cancer. Through her research she learned about how food effects your body. I read her book it was called A Cancer Battle Plan by Ann Fromm. She was so interesting that I bought and read her book. Wow, up till then I never gave a thought to what I ate unless of course I had put on a few pounds and needed to shed them. Since then I've tried to better educate myself about nutrition. Old habits die hard, but I'm much more aware of what I buy and what I feed my family. The one thing that stands out the most from all my reading is that eating our foods in the most natural form and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is probably one of the best things I can do.
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#2 of 10 Old 03-15-2005, 10:02 AM
 
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I am still struggling with it. : Our diet is wildly erratic. Kinda like me!

I would like to get to a more whole foods kind of diet, with lots of organic stuff, but would still leave room for some occassional "bad" treats...all things in moderation. If I ban something or make it off-limits, I figure we will all obsess about what we are missing. And besides, what's the point in living without chocolate.

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
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#3 of 10 Old 03-15-2005, 11:16 AM
 
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I used to think I ate pretty healthy. When ds was about 6 weeks old he was diagnosed with a milk allergy, so I eliminated all dairy from my diet. Subsequently, I doubled the amount of meat in my diet. Then as I began reading and educating myself, I dropped meat and eggs. Dh came along for the ride, I might add! Then as I learned more, out went the hydrogenated oils, the corn syrups, the dyes, the preservatives. In came the whole foods, the organics. It all started with the milk allergy, but the motivation was to provide the healthiest start in life for my little one (now 5), and to keep dh and I (as "older parents") as healthy as possible to raise him!
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#4 of 10 Old 03-15-2005, 12:54 PM
 
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I became a vegetarian at 14, but ate complete junk--pizza, french fries, nachoes, grilled cheese, doughnuts, etc. Basically, just fried bread and cheese. Although I added more veggies as I got older, I was still basically just a junk-food junkie. When I saw SuperSize Me last summer, it compelled me to THOROUGHLY research both the food industry and my own choices. I realized that my parents and I had totally been sold on highly-processed, high-sugar, high-fat convenience foods--and that I was basically addicted to them.

I still struggle with sugar, but I made some major changes to my diet: cutting out dairy and eggs; replacing most refined grains with whole grains; incorporating new kinds of whole grains into my diet (quinoa, millet, etc.); dramatically increasing the amount and variety and fresh fruits, veggies, and beans in my diet; switching to mainly organic/GMO-free foods; increasing healthy fats like nuts, seeds, olive and flax oil, and cutting out trans fats. My diet is still far from perfect, but I try to emphasize whole, fresh foods and reduce refined sugars and processed foods.

I have seen dramatic improvements in my own health, but, more importantly, I am determined to give my kids a healthier start than I was given.
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#5 of 10 Old 03-15-2005, 12:56 PM
 
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I was lucky that my mom was really into nutrition. She ran a healthfood store for the first 10 years of my life.
We ate mostly organic, grew a vegi garden, went to farmers markets, and ate a vegetarian diet...

Although I do believe I suffered from iron-deficiency due to our diet. I was often fatigued as a child, I would get dizzy upon standing, often would get winded, and craved meat intensly!!

As a teen, my diet was awful!! I was still a vegetarian, but ate very little fruits, vegis, or whole grains. I lived off bread, pasta, ramen noodles, cheese, sweets, and juice. I still was fatigued often and started drinking coffee at 15 to compensate.

When I was 18 I moved to a commune where we worked on a 300 acre organic farm. We also had milk goats and chickens. I started eating some meat and much more vegis. I learned how to make cheese and yogurt. My energy increased so much and I lost about 15 lbs.

A year or so later, while still living at the farm, I started to gain interest in various types of healthy diets. I studied a lot and expirimented a lot...
Ayurveda, an adrenal diet, macrobiotics, juicing, sprouting, raw foods, etc...

When I was 21 I got really into raw foods and juices. I felt great for a few months, then again, my energy plummetted and I started having numerous digestive issues and allergy symptoms.

Many of these symptoms went away when I stopped following the strict raw foods diet and cut back on juicing.

When I was 23 and living in New Orleans I developed symptoms of severe candida overgrowth. I had some severe food reactions, enviromental and chemical allergies, fatugue, mental fuzziness, insomnia, anxiety, digestive troubles, weakened immune system, an ovarian cyst, etc.
This was the first time I had ever been really ill.
I went to many doctors who had no answers. So again I studied. I learned about candida and self-diagnosed myself.

I went on an extreme anti-candida diet and supplement regimen. Within a month I was feeling really good.
After a few months, better than ever!!

I contribute the candida overgrowth to beginning when I was living in humid Texas, eating raw foods, and juicing every day... then living in humid Louisiana, eating too many sweets, a round of antibiotics, drinking alcohol frequently, etc...

At 24 I started seeing an acupuncturist and a shiatsu practioner. I started studying Chinese Dietary Therapies.
It was then that I started to feel the best I ever had.
I decided to go to school for Oriental Medicine and Bodywork (I am now a licensed practioner).

In the following years I tried other dietary therapies ( I am always curious):
veganism, another try at vegetarianism, no-dairy, gluten-free, NT, low-carb, etc...

What I have found is that I need a diet high in iron, with adequete animal protien, moderate to low in dairy, very little starches, high in vegis and fruits and omega fatty acids...

I see my path to healthy eating as an ongoing journey... a continual expiriment, always evolving....
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#6 of 10 Old 03-15-2005, 02:50 PM
 
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I really don't know when my mind was changed. I ate boxed food growing up, cause that is what my mom made. Even to this day, it tastes better to me than real food. In college, more of the same (institutional food, you know). And now that I'm on my own, I'm eating whole foods as much as possible. My mom still brings us sweet stuff, bless her. But we do pretty good 90% of the time. Organic is more of a challenge, but come May, when the farmer's market starts up, we'll be doing quite well.
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#7 of 10 Old 03-15-2005, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Wow bebe luna, you've really have had a lot of experience. I also did the raw diet with juicing for awhile. I was so convinced that animal products were killing me from all I read. : I find I feel much better when I eat a little protien with my meals and with my last pg I really craved meat.

My two biggest battles are sugar and caffiene. I have always loved all my fruits and vegetables, even as a child. My family had a big garden every year and there is nothing better than a vine ripened tomatoe.
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#8 of 10 Old 03-16-2005, 04:12 PM
 
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My road to healthful eating is somewhat interesting and later, embarrassing.

When I was a kid I never liked red meat. I was fine with fish but never liked fried fish, and I loved chicken. Eggs were only eaten if it is what was made. I was a cheese fanatic (I live in Wisconsin! ) and I still am, but I always wanted fruit as a kid, and occasionally vegetables. Unfortunately, in my home, fruit consisted of apples and bananas, with the occasional orange. Vegetables were carrots, celery, corn and potatoes. My mom didn't know how to cook for anything! My dad loved mushrooms, tomatoes and green peppers and would buy them whenever he went to the grocery store (which was rare since he worked so much). My mom would complain about how "gross" they were and would let them rot in the fridge and then complain about the wasted money. (I never told her of my secret passion for stuffed mushrooms or fresh tomatoes until I was an adult- my dad used to take me to dinner occasionally after my mom and brother were asleep and we'd have really good, expensive, tasty vegetable meals.)

As a teenager that was sick of eating unhealthy and bad-tasting junk, I naturally rebelled- but ended up with anorexia instead. As I grew healthier again I began vegetarianism. At this point I was making most of the meals for my family when I wasn't at gymnastics and, surprisingly, everyone scarfed them down and raved about how tasty they were. Maybe vegetables AREN'T so gross!

As a college student I started to eat too much fried junk and other unhealthy things and that's when I developed bulimia. I thought it was great- until I got really, really, REALLY sick and unhealthy. I wasn't vegetarian at this point anymore, but I had to worry about eating just enough, and not too much, so I wouldn't trigger another binge. I developed an absorption disorder, no surprise.

When I got married at the age of 21 (I'm 25 now) I was finally healthy again, but was a meat-eater, thanks to dh's dietary standards. He knew all about my ED since we'd met when I was 13, so he was really good about it, although much of what we ate was still processed junk. And, since having absorption issues, I needed to eat about 150 grams of fat each day to maintain my weight in a healthy range. Needless to say, most of those fat grams came from animal fats.

I became pregnant with my ds and had HORRIBLE morning sickness- barfing 3xs daily for 7 months. (Revenge for bulimia perhaps?) I ate anything and everything I could keep down. My son was born quite healthy, just a few weeks early. We continued eating our boxed food for a while, until I became pregnant with dd. I hired a midwife and, by watching her, we slowly started converting to vegetarianism again. Now, the embarassing part- when I was in labor, we had nothing that the midwife or her assistant were okay with eating except for a few sad-looking oranges. I recall overhearing the assistant whisper that there were no organic foods whatsoever" in my house. : After recovering from childbirth a bit more, I started researching organic foods and decided, with my hubby, that we'd start eating as much organic as we can afford. Surprisingly, it's quite a bit!

I just signed on as an owner at our local organic/natural foods coop, which I'm really excited about. We're learning to cook with different grains and have completely eliminated bleached flour and white granulated sugar from our home. We figure, we rarely use flour and sugar, so we may as well pay the extra for the better-for-you stuff. Same with brown sugar. Next we'll be switching from table salt to sea salt. We find that, if we get a ton of an item we like while it's on sale, it makes it quite affordable. If it's not a day where there's samples all over the store for us to try, we just try something we bought on sale as soon as we get home and, if we like it enough, we'll go back the next day and stock up. So, although we still get boxed mac and cheese for our son, it's organic now instead of Kraft. Hey, gotta start somewhere, right?

So, that's my novel as to how we came to eating healthy. We're still transitioning little by little each day, and each day it's a learning process. We're on WIC so we get 'regular' cow's milk, cheese, eggs, cereal and bottled juice. But we'll see what happens in the future. We just paid off our car loan AND dh just got a new, much better paying job than he had, so we may not qualify for WIC. If that's the case, we'll probably get some organic milk and some non-organic milk and switch back and forth between the two. Some is better than non, IMO. ANYWAY! Now I'm just but I wanted to share my story.
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#9 of 10 Old 03-16-2005, 11:54 PM - Thread Starter
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THanks for sharing.
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#10 of 10 Old 03-17-2005, 12:11 AM
 
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I started out eating healthy as a kid since we were poor and grew most of our food or got it from local orchards, other farmers, etc. We baked our own bread and canned and froze stuff.

When I got to college everyone I knew was living on hohos, pizza and m&ms so I spent a year doing that when it got yucky. Then I shared an apartment and used to bake my own bread etc. and my roomies thought I was weird. After college I continued to grow my own vegetables (on the appt. balcony and community garden until we got a house) and cook from scratch.

I have fallen off the wagon in stressful times but always pick myself back up and keep trying. Healthy eating has meant different things at different times.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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