If Food Was My Spouse We Would Be in Couples Counseling
From the time I was old enough to operate a stove by myself, I was in the kitchen cooking. My mom would call me after school from work and ask me if the meat she took out for dinner had thawed out. I would tell her yes, which would almost always be followed up by"Great, go ahead and get dinner started." That is how I learned how to cook. My mom would give me some brief instructions over the phone and I would proceed from there on my own until she came home to take over. I baked & fried chicken, made meatloaf, grilled pork chops you name it. I did it.
If it wasn't my mom calling me to cook dinner, clean the chicken or cut up her potatoes, then it was my brother and best friend who lived next door to me. I would break out the big bag of wingettes and fry us all up an after-school snack. Chicken wings were my thing. Everyone asked for them. As a result, cooking became more of a necessity than something I desired to do. So, to see myself now on this new journey and lifestyle change is kind of funny because normally I am trying everything I can to NOT cook. Don't sleep on the kid, I KNOW HOW TO COOK, I just don't like to cook. Well, I am actually liking it a lot better now.
About a year ago I began to do more research and study of the scriptures and as a result, my eyes were open to so many incorrect teachings that I received over the years. I began to remove a lot of food items from my diet that is not considered clean. I removed pork and all seafood considered bottom feeders. When you look at the impact these things have on your body, even if you don't believe in eating a biblical diet according to the book of Leviticus, you cannot deny the science you hold so high that tells you these things are not good for you.
After I had my youngest (and last) baby I really struggled with edema, high blood pressure, and other ailments. I told myself I am too young and have too many young kids to possibly lose my life over my inability to control what I put in my mouth. Fast forward to about 6 months ago I had been doing research on the Depo Prevara birth control shot that I had at this time been on for nearly 3 years. I wasn't feeling myself and I had asked questions to my doctor and they didn't seem to be a big concern to her.
After researching online articles, watching other women's testimony on youtube and talking to my female friends and family I discovered that there is probably a 90% chance that a lot of the issue I was experiencing was related to this shot. High Blood pressure, weight gain, low energy, anxiety, depression, low sex drive (almost non-existent) & random body aches. I spoke with my husband and gave him the information and we made the decision for me to come off of the shot. So I canceled my August appointment and vowed to find a way to cleanse and detox my body of all these chemicals and meds I had been pumping in my body.
One of the conversations with my doctor was that I needed to have my fibroids removed and since I was done having children I was going to get a full hysterectomy as well. With a little research, I found that certain foods like cows milk, other dairy products, white grains, bread, pasta & rice all can contribute to a woman developing fibroids. There are many women that have used holistic methods to rid themselves of their fibroids. That was it for me. I wrote in my journal "why can't I control the food I put in my body. why do I allow food to have control of my life." It was time to make a change and time to make it asap.
Insert, JJ Smith 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. A friend had given me the book at least 2 years earlier and I never looked at it until about a month ago. I watched videos, read testimonials on her Facebook group and then I took the plunge. I read the book, took notes and wrote out my first 5-day shopping list and smoothie recipes. I want to say that it was magical and I breezed through the cleanse with no issues. HA! LIES! All LIES! I did not. One thing I failed to share was that I am or was a heavy coffee drinker and this cleanse calls for NO CAFFEINE.
- Day 1- I wanted to crawl back in my bed. I was super grumpy. I couldn't focus at work.
- Day 2 - A banging headache as soon as I woke up. That caffeine withdrawal was already kicking in.
- Day 3 - Still a tinge of a headache but I had more energy and I wasn't even hungry. This whole liquid and raw food cleanse was starting to work.
- Day 4 - I felt amazing!!! I could see my ankles and my legs weren't swollen from all the water retention I normally had due to my high blood pressure.
- Day 5 - Hmmm where is my smoothie... I was feeling good and I forgot one of my smoothies
- Day 6 - Where is the hot food. Oh, the desire to have something hot was STRONG!
- Day 7 - 10 - that was a blur. I made it. I finished the cleanse and I was ready to change my eating habits permanently.
I hadn't had any meat in 10 days and I didn't really miss it. I also didn't like how I felt or the uncertainty of what might be getting pumped into the meat I purchased from the grocery store. I had lost about 8 lbs I am sure 5 was the water I was retaining. I was way less bloated and I felt so much better. Based on everything I knew from the Word, research, the way I felt I decided to cut certain things out my diet or limit the amount of it I consumed. Its a journey and I know some things I am going to be able to cut cold turkey while others will slowly be eliminated over time.
- No Meat - Except clean fish, tuna & salmon.
- No Cows Milk - I generally use almond milk if I am going to eat cereal.
- I still eat cheese. I told you it was a process but I only try and eat cheese once or twice a week if possible.
- No Coffee - I know I know. The break up was hard and I can't imagine going back, getting addicted again and then having to detox again. NOPE, I am good.
- No white rice - Sub for brown
- Limited pasta. I try and eat whole grain pasta, when I can find more than just the spaghetti noodles.
- Water Water Water. Added bonus fresh lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar (Braggs w/the mother) when I feel like I need to flush my system a little more.
- Tea - I have switched to herbal teas. I am trying to stay clear of the ones with caffeine.
- Veggies, Veggies & more Veggies
- Still have my smoothies as well
THE NEW NEW
As a result of ALL of these things I have found a new love for cooking and preparing healthier meals for myself and family. I will be honest that is a challenge. This is new territory for me. My husband still eats most meats. I have my two stepsons in the house and you know how boys eat. Also, I have a 5-year-old and a 3-year-old. Rhyann who is 5 is extremely picky and would probably eat PB&J and Mac n Cheese in rotation daily if you let her. She doesn't like her food mixed together or to touch. Sydney is 3 and eats just about anything you prepare.
I have been sharing some of my new dishes on my Instagram page and with some friends. One encouraged me to share my journey on my blog and maybe I can help others along the way. I did a little poll on my Insta-Story to see if anyone would be interested in me posting about my food journey and 100% of the participants voted, YES!! Thank you, everyone. I am super excited to document this journey and share it with you. I am hoping that it will be encouragement for myself to stay the course. I hope I can connect with others on similar journeys. Find some new recipes and make some new foody friends along the way.
Overall I am doing this so I can honor this body I was given. We only get one. As well as to be around as long as possible for my children. I would love to eventually have them all on the same journey as me but I have to show them and pray they follow.
Have you made any drastic or subtle changes in your eating habits? What inspired the change? How have you felt as a result? If you have any vegetarian or vegan recipes that you LOVE and is easy for a newbie like me please share. Let's stay connected here or on your fav social media platform. I am pretty much on all of them, lol! Feel free to educate me but don't judge me. Let's help each other become better versions of ourselves.