Friday, February 20, 2015

Choices: Eating Whole Foods

I figured it was about time to get back to my choices series. I have a few more posts I wanted to write on that. Since I'm doing my Whole 30 challenge right now and eating mostly whole foods right now, I figured I should write this one next.

My view of foods and health has changed so much the last few years. This is what my journey toward healthier eating has looked like.

For years, I naively ate the standard American diet, lots of packaged and processed foods, while trying to make what I thought were healthy choices. Then I got pregnant. I tried to make a lot more healthy changes for my growing baby and felt pretty good about it. I still remember the reaction of the midwife when I described my diet to her. After all my 'healthy' changes, I was still far from eating her version of a healthy diet. I was discouraged by her strong negative reaction to some of my so-called 'healthy' choices, like WIC-approved cereals. So why am I not just eating Reese's Puffs then?!

I had no clue about what healthy eating really looked like.

Some of my friends are passionate about eating organic whole foods and over the last few years I have benefited enormously from reading many of the articles they have shared. Over time, I began reading more and more about our food system: the additives, the use of antibiotics, the use of synthetic ingredients, the use of pesticides, and GMO crops and how they're making their way into everything. I also watched documentaries on Netflix like Food, Inc.

As I have learned more, my shopping patterns have changed. I've switched to buying organic whenever possible, and I use the EWG's Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen lists to help prioritize my organic purchases. I try to avoid products that likely contain GMOs and I've tried to incorporate more fruits and veggies into our diets.

This Whole 30 challenge has helped me to put into practice all that I have been learning and to develop some new and much healthier habits.

I had read so much about how nutrition affects our health and now I have experienced the difference while doing the Whole 30! I haven't had an energy slump in the middle of the afternoon and I've been waking up before my alarm clock. I've been feeling really good health-wise, for which I am especially grateful after a really rough fall! I was continually ill due to my broken sleep schedule, because of my paper route, plus poor food choices. These last few weeks with proper sleep and great nutrition, I have felt fabulous! I've even felt more emotionally balanced, and the last week or so as I've loosened my rules, I've noticed a difference in my emotional fluctuations when I have more sugar. I was surprised at how obvious a difference it's been.

These changes have been hard, but worth it. There is so much healing to be found in eating food that truly nourishes your body! Any healthy change, big or small, is a step in the right direction. Start today. :)

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