"All our words are but crumbs that fall down from the feast of the mind."
Khalil Gibran

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I'm Breaking Up With Old Food Habits!

I recently decided that I needed a new relationship with food, I'd been thinking about it for a long time and just before the new year I heard from a couple of good friends that told me they were going to be doing a pretty radical food program with their entire families for several weeks, and they wanted to know if my family wanted to do it too.  I figured that there was no time like the present and the added support of having some of my best friends (and their spouses and children) doing it all together would give me added encouragement.

Although losing weight is often the main goal any time I've restricted my diet in the past, this time was different.  I want more than to simply lose weight....I want to be healthy!  I have struggled with many medical issues for a good portion of my life and I'm on a lot of different medicines and often find that I am not happy with the results.  I've slowly been changing the way I eat over the past couple years, but I was eager to start a new way of eating that might lead me to some healing through feeding my body good clean fuel/food instead of processed foods.  BUT....this would mean some BIG changes in our house!

We needed to BREAK UP with our old eating habits! 

And for the record, my son and I are both picky eathers....this wasn't going to be easy.  (This little girl's face just cracks me up!)

My husband and son have been supportive of my desire to eat healthier and making changes to our food in the past, but I wondered how they would react when I told them I wanted the whole house to do an experiment of sorts, the challenge was this....take some time off from all added sugars (processed sugars as well as honey, agave nectar, etc...), all grains, dairy, legumes, msg or sulfites, processed foods, and no white potatoes!

 I'm pretty sure they thought I had completely lost my mind!

I had a few goals in mind:
  • To check to see if any of us have specific food allergies or intollerences
  • To give our bodies a break from eating processed foods, refined sugars, and other foods that are harder for our bodies to digest and process -- a fast of sorts
  • To change our eating habits and break the cycle of eating when we are bored, having emotional highs or lows, or just eating out of habit.  To discover when we are truly physically hungry and eat to be 'satisfied' and not 'full'.
  • To change our pallets and start to like and crave food that is healthy and to break the strong cravings and emotional needs for sugar, carbs, and chemically processed foods

I have had a 9 year battle with Lupus, and so my family was willing to try this because they knew it would be too hard for me to do it on my own if they were eating 'non-compliant' foods.  And I really had a desire for my whole family to benefit from this process.  My 16 year old son was FAR from excited, but he said he would give it a shot.  So we started just 2 days later!

At first I thought it wouldn't be too bad, after all, we could eat meat, eggs, all veggies (except white potatoes), nuts, seeds, and limited fruit.  The first day was easy peasy!  I thought this thing was going to be a snap!

Day 2 it hit the family....no cereal, bread, or peanut butter for breakfast (peanuts are a legume not a nut....drats!)  By a week into the elimination diet, I was so tired of EGGS!  I'm not really much of a hot breakfast person.  I must confess I am not sure when I will want to eat another egg.  LOL!

It wasn't long and we were all suffering from massive withdrawals and detox symptoms!  And at the same time we were all dealing with a terrible head cold and sinus infection.  No fun!  I had the worst acne breakout I've ever had in my whole life (puberty included) and it didn't even gives signs of letting up for a full 2 weeks!  I guess that was just an indicator of how many toxins were coming out of my body.  Yipes!  With headaches, cravings, and grumpy attitudes...we pressed on.  Luckily by day 6 or 7 we were doing MUCH BETTER with the withdrawal symptoms, BUT......

about 10 days in I had a MUTINY on my hands!  My husband and son were BEGGING me to quit this elimination diet.  They were miserable and having such strong carb cravings.  So in an effort to stop them from completely going AWOL, I adjusted things for the 2 of them so that they could be gluten-free but still stay on the rest of the diet.  It was amazing how one little change made a huge difference to them even though they were still cutting the rest of it out.  Although it was hard, they remained supportive.  Even my Dad, who loves to cook and bring over food (lucky right!) had adjusted his recipes to be compliant with our program!

Now we have completed the major restriction part of the diet and we have added some things back in moderation.  We did not find that our family had any major food allergies, but I did notice that I was reacting when I ate too many fruits high in fructose....although that was a huge bummer, I'm glad to know how to avoid having terrible stomach pain!  AND...I can say with much joy that our eating habits are SO MUCH HEALTHIER!  We really reached my main goals for this process!

We are trying to stay with whole foods, keep out processed sugars and use natural sugars, eat gluten-free (instead of being completely grain free), and limit our dairy intake.  I am not craving the same foods that I used to, which is great!  I get full faster, and my family has learned to eat and enjoy foods that we wouldn't have even touched before!  

We may not be all the way to my goals for our family, but we are LEAPS AND BOUNDS closer than we were before we began this journey!  I know our bodies are healthier and I am expecting great things!  I am glad we did it!

I've slowly been juicing and making green smoothies.....but that is for another post!

I can't end this post without saying that my support system of 5 other families was SO AMAZING!  We encouraged each other through tough times, shared recipes, and even got together and shared a meal.  I wouldn't have made it as far as I did without them!  I won't name them without their permission, but they know who they are....I love you Ladies!  I am lucky to have you each in my life!




  1. What an interesting post! I heart the pictures! Visit my website too when you get the chance: www.sherryndaniel.com :)


    What's wrong with white potatoes? Why is gluten free healthier than regular wheat?

  2. I checked out your blog www.sherryndaniel.com ... very fun with a variety of different information.

    I am far from a health expert but I'm going to answer your questions from my perspective.

    1.) Potatoes - I personally don't think anything is 'wrong' with them. In some of the research I've done when looking at a white potato vs. a sweet potato, it seems that there are mixed messages. I was following a protocol from a program called Whole30. They post the following about Potatoes: "Do not eat white potatoes. This is somewhat arbitrary, but if we are trying to change your habits and improve the hormonal impact of your food choices, it’s best to leave white, red, purple, Yukon gold and fingerling potatoes off your plate." Now, to be fair, this program is a short term 30 day program that is attempting to redefine your relationship with food - sugars, carbs, etc., so I think the restriction is more about just giving your body a break from the carbs and teaching yourself to fill your hunger with vegetables more than starches. I am not speaking for the program, but that is my take on it. I've incorporated them back in but in small amounts as I don't want to eat too many starches (I used to eat too many!)

    2.) Gluten-Free vs. Wheat - The protocol that I followed was 'no grains at all'. But because my husband and son were struggling with that huge restriction, and part of my goal for them was to see if they had food sensitivities, I switched them to gluten-free instead to see if their digestive systems processed the gluten free items any easier/better than the products made with gluten. I don't think that removing the gluten makes a product any more healthful than it’s gluten-filled counter part, nor does it remove any calories, but if you have a gluten allergy or intolerance, your body will digest a gluten-free product easier.

    According to studies cited by the "Huffington Post," gluten consumption has been linked to 55 diseases, including: osteoporosis, irritable bowel disease, anemia, cancer, fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and some neurological diseases. If a person suspects that their body may be reacting negatively to gluten, they should ask their doctor.

    I hope that answers your questions! Thanks again for the comment!!!! I love getting feedback!


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