I know this is longer than my usual post, but bear with me… :)
My how our lives have changed in a year! It has been a very gradual change and definitely an adventure, but our lives are all the better for it!
I’m going to use this post to back up and explain more fully how we have gotten from point a to point b.
In this post I explained how I was changing my cooking and diet to benefit my migraine habit. To sum up just in case you do not want to go back and read (and I don’t blame you, time is precious!), a year ago next week (July 2, yes I remember the day) I had my last visit to the emergency room in a neighboring city for a horrid migraine. I was chaperoning teens, not in my own car, but thankfully a college-age student was with my group and he was able to drive them the remaining two hours home while I finished my trip in an ambulance to a nearby hospital.
I had gotten to the point after that trip where I was terrified to even leave the house for too long of a distance, especially without my various migraine and pain meds. I was a walking pharmacy. I was having 3-4 debilitating headaches a week. Functioning? No, not really. I decided I had hit rock bottom with my headaches.
I found a book that was highly recommended (Dr. David Buccholz’s Heal Your Headache) and put its 3 steps into practice – wow, the difference was amazing. What I discovered was that MSG-laden foods, in addition to tomatoes and lemons (I’d known those were triggers for years), were migraine triggers for me. Once I started cutting those MSG-rich foods out of my diet, my migraines decreased significantly.
If MSG was making my head feel this bad, I wonder what other additives and preservatives were doing to me?
Why not try it out? We had nothing to lose. I was already learning how to cook from scratch to reduce MSG, so cooking completely from scratch and with only fresh ingredients was really not a far cry from where I was. This decision happened in September or October of last year. Chris and I stumbled upon a documentary called A Beautiful Truth on our Netflix and watched it. I had decided to watch it because they would be talking about MSG and its horrible effects on the body, but we learned so much more.
The entire premise of this film is centered around the life and work of Dr. Gersen, who apparently discovered the cure to various illnesses, even some cancers, through simply changing your diet. It was actually the various parts of the film that were fascinating to us – further information about MSG and aspertame, genetically-modified organisms (GMO’s), and dental amalgams that contain mercury and how all of those are toxic to the body.
I had already discovered that simply eliminating my MSG-consumption had reduced my migraines significantly. More than significantly. So we took the extra step to move to organic foods. We really had nothing to lose and health to gain, right?
Another discovery happened. (I have mentioned this previously, but I’ll say it again.) Where I thought I had developed an allergy to the few fruits I liked, I discovered through my lack of self-control that I had no allergic reaction to the equivalent organicially-grown fruit. This was definitely intrigueing. I can’t tell you how nice it is to eat an apple and not having my throat, ears, and mouth itch like crazy.
By the fall of last year and getting into winter, I had not only eliminated any and all convienence foods from my pantry and refrigerator, but had started buying only organic foods. If there was any doubt as to what was on a label, I did not buy it. If our bodies were not meant to consume it, then I did not want to buy it for my family.
What Chris and I realized over time was that we had been feeling better than we had felt in a long time. To eat fast food or order pizza delivery sends our stomachs into tailspins. It just feels good knowing you are eating healthy and feeding your family healthy foods as well.
This spring we discovered something else: the illnesses in our family have been nearly non-existent. It has been quite a few months since we have had a cold. Sure, we may feel like one is coming on, but by the following day we feel back to normal. Is this because having eliminated various chemicals and poisons from our bodies, we are better able to fight off everyday viruses? Food for thought… (I had to say it…puns are great.)
Now, let me clarify that we are not the food police. We are passionate about how we eat simply because we feel so much better for it, and I do get excited about it, but its not for everybody as much as I wish it were. :) We are also not going to be the food police when we are out and about. We still eat out. We still grab Chick-fil-A when time or energy is just too limited. When dining with friends, we do not turn our noses up at non-organic foods. I have no desire to make anyone feel guilty or to project us as superior. (You have my permission to remind me if I come across that way.) Even Chris doesn’t entirely follow it – he still has to have his Dr. Pepper. (The large amount of high fructose corn syrup in it makes me shudder.)
I wanted to be able to share more and more about how we cook and eat and why we do the what we do as I continually learn how to cook – taking you on this journey with me, if you want to go. It’s not cheap, and therein lies the challenge on how to do this on a budget. I found a huge amount of resources and ideas on how others do this.
There is a cookbook I recently purchased called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I was reading another blog and this book was mentioned – the ideas seemed interesting. I read through it and the wealth of information in it is astounding. It seems to be more book than cookbook, but thats ok. Admittedly, I probably cannot follow every dot and tittle in the book, but the general ideas are really neat. There is even an impressive amount of blogs out there whose writers are devoted to following the NT guidelines and giving recipes and other information on living a simpler, more organic lifestyle. Who knew?!
This post is long enough…but I wanted to give a little background before diving into a whole new series of posts about what I am cooking and why I am cooking and shopping the way that I am. I felt like I should give you a background on the whys and hows and how it has improved our lives thus far.
A year ago this week, I was eating a totally different diet – reliant upon convenience foods in a big way. A year later – nary a convenient food in sight, more veggies, more fruits, baking bread and feeling tons better for it. Amazing. I am no longer on pain meds, migraine meds, and am weaning off of my final maintainence migraine medicine (sllllloooowwwww process). All glory to God for His wisdom and guidance in helping to improve my health, and ultimately my family’s health.
More to come!
Posting this as part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday’s! Head on over to see other great posts and blogs about this topic!