Confessions of a Happy Foody
It’s almost like a magical “raw alarm” goes off inside me when the temperature hits 70 degrees. This week the weather has been so beautiful and it’s been so much easier to eat more raw. And that’s good…because I’ve been a bit off track as of late.
We have kind of an unwritten rule in our family that December is our “free month”. We are with our families and there tends to be A LOT of delicious foods that we love…but don’t necessarily eat year round. After the holidays, we hit it hard again and get back on track.
This year, however, it seemed especially hard to cut out the junk after the holidays were over. And by junk, I mean breads and sugars. For those of you who think I am Happy Foody superwoman and that I never eat “bad” foods, think again. I eat a cleaner diet than most people, but I have a serious sweet tooth. Except when I’m raw…hence the reason I love raw! It balances me. I also apparently have a problem listening to authority. So when my my body was saying…”ok, enough is enough”…by mind was saying “whatever…it’s fine…leave me alone!”.
So…here is my confession. Up until this last week I was still regularly treating myself to a cookie at Starbucks, some chocolate chip cookies at friend’s houses, Hershey kisses or delicious vegan treats. You get the picture. Of course, I was still drinking a huge green smoothie daily and eating wholesome vegetarian meals, but the sugar is what really throws me off course. I don’t think it’s bad to have treats once in awhile…in fact, I encourage it. But it got to where I felt like I needed some sugar after every meal…and that is not normal. I know I’m not the only one who struggles with this.
So many of you have written to me and told me about your love for sugar and how hard it is to kick. I totally relate. But I was sick of feeling gross. Every time I would eat sugar or breads, I would feel bloated, get a headache, feel sick to my stomach, or just feel “spacey”. There are symptoms of excessive sugar consumption that just seem like part of normal life…but they aren’t! Cravings for one thing. And forgetfulness…general brain fog. Definitely sugar related for me. I’ve also struggled with yeast issues for a long time…and let’s just say the yeast LOVES it when I eat sugar!
The way I motivate myself to quit doing something is to find really convincing reasons why I should stop. Just do a little bit of research on what excess sugar does to your body, and you will want to swear off of it right now. One of the reasons at the top of my list is compromised immune system. This is an excerpt from “The Scary Truth About Sugar” by Carolyn Dean, M.D.:
“Sugar compromises immune function. Two cans of soda (which contain 24 teaspoons of sugar) reduce the efficiency of white blood cells by 92 percent-an effect that lasts up to five hours, according to Kenneth Bock, M.D., an expert in nutritional and environmental health. Since white blood cells are an integral part of your immune system, if you happen to meet a nasty virus or bacteria within five hours of drinking a few colas, your immune system may be unable to fight off the invader.”
Ever wonder why so many people get sick with the flu and colds right around Halloween? Well there you have it.
The past 3-4 days I’ve been raw all day again until supper and have cut out processed sugar and breads. And what an amazing difference it has made. Two things really got my attention.
• Headache. On day 2, I went to bed with a horrible headache. I was really confused because I never get headaches. Ever. The next morning, I woke up with the same headache. It persisted all day.
• Acne. All of a sudden, I had 6-7 zits. Seriously? They weren’t big, but I pretty much never get them anymore. What was going on here?
And then it dawned on me. I’m TOTALLY DETOXING! It’s been so long since I let myself eat so much junk that I hadn’t recognized these obvious detox symptoms. It’s so to get into bad habits…because there don’t seem to be any immediate adverse effects when you’re adding junk slowly. But taking it away is another story.
So I’m back on track…ready to rock and roll. I’ve been eating TONS of greens. We went to a great farmer’s market here in Las Vegas and I bought almost all of their dino kale. It’s so fresh and yummy. I try to eat greens with every meal…in my green smoothie, in my salad at lunch, green lemonade in the afternoon, and steamed greens with my supper. I’m a nursing mama…so those greens are helping to make lots of milk for Lucy!
I have learned that my “happy place” is as raw as I can be all day with a meat/dairy free meal at night (I still do goat cheese on occasion and I do eat eggs…so not totally vegan). When I get too strict with myself and make all of these rules inside my head about my eating habits, I tend to make myself insane. And that’s not the goal.
The goal is TOTAL HEALTH. And health is so much more than just eating. It’s getting enough sleep. Exercising. Breating clean, fresh air. Having healthy relationships and being full of love and joy! And sometimes joy makes me want some warm, crusty bread with my soup. And that’s ok.
The thing I am really looking forward to is watermelon season. It’s so close. I can feel it. I’ve been in watermelon withdrawal since last summer. Even when I can find it down south, it’s still not the same as summer watermelon! So…I’m counting the days!
I will hopefully update my food journal a few more times this month. Here is today’s entry.
Have a wonderful day…and eat your greens!