I get so pumped when I hear stories about the positive results my friends are experiencing from integrating healthier habits. About 6 weeks ago, I got a text from my friend. She was reaching out to talk to me about how I had changed my diet and lifestyle and wanted to learn more.
One of the first signs that her life was a little out of balance was the fact that we tried to connect three times, but work kept getting in the way. My schedule is pretty flexible so it wasn’t a bother, but I really felt for her when I read this text:
When we were able to finally connect, she sounded exhausted, a little scattered, and depleted. I easily guessed that she was constantly running, feeding her body what was convenient instead of what it needed, and she put herself last behind everyone else in her family. I told her she needed to focusing on taking care of herself. We chatted about fasting, eating clean, meditation, and most importantly taking time for “Mommy time-outs” which meant she may have to hide in her closet at times… which is what I do sometimes.
When you’re on an airplane and it’s about to take off, the flight attendant gratuitously goes through their safety speech while demonstrating how to fasten your seat belt and what to do in case of an emergency. When they talk about the oxygen masks, they always tell you that if you are traveling with a child that you should put your own mask on FIRST and then assist your child with theirs… why is that?
Hmmmm…. Well, let’s see.
If there isn’t any oxygen in the cabin and you are so busy helping your child put on their mask, but end up passing out yourself… you may end up dying and you won’t be able to help anyone. Ahem! However, if you make sure yours is on securely and your kid passes out, well then you can still revive him or her and do something to help them.
Do you see where I am going with this?
I am here to strongly suggest that taking care of yourself first is not being selfish, but in fact quite the opposite. As a mother, there really isn’t anyone who can quite fill our shoes… we really are THAT awesome. 😉
The other day my daughter’s friend was at our house and while they were eating a snack, out of the blue she says, “My brother says that moms are the glue of the family and if anything happens to them, things would fall apart.”
Ahhh…. Out of the mouth of babes.
Truer words were never spoken.
With that said, let’s jump into the final part of Radically Changing Your Diet (from Dr. Kelly A. Turner’s book Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds). For those not consistently following my blog, this is a 9-part series of blogs outlining the consistent actions of people who people who experienced radical remissions.
This week’s key factor is kind of a no-brainer…
Reduce or Eliminate Refined Foods, especially Refined Grains
A refined grain like bread “is made with wheat that has been converted from its original plant form (the fruit of the wheat plant or wheat berry) and pounded into a fine flour, which is then mixed with yeast and sugar and baked into a loaf. This results in bread that has a very high glycemic index, meaning its carbohydrates are very quickly converted into glucose—which cancer cells love. What’s worse is that eating high-glycemic foods, such as bread, pasta, flour, or any quick-cook grain, not only gives cancer cells plenty of glucose to feed on but also creates high insulin levels in your blood, which is yet another condition strongly linked to cancer.”
If you’re going to eat carbohydrates I recommend eating them in their whole forms (i.e. brown rice, quinoa, whole oats, barley, millet and wheat berries.) Reducing or eliminating processed sugar and carbs from your diet is difficult, but if you can try to eliminate it for about three weeks, you’ll find that it gets easier. It really acts like a drug in the sense that when it’s in your system, your body craves it. I think the key to changing your diet and sticking to it is all about preparedness.
This salad was just chopped romaine, red and green bell pepper, spicy organic black beans (from a can), broccoli sprouts, chopped red and green cabbage, cilantro, tossed in lime juice, a little extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and topped with copycat Chipotle sofritas (tofu). See recipe here: https://www.culinaryhill.com/chipotle-sofritas-recipe-copycat/
You can even make up a few of these at once and just pull them out of the fridge when you need them! In the past when I have tried to clean up my diet, the times that I would slip were usually when I found myself out somewhere, hungry, and unprepared. That’s why I almost always have nuts, fruit, or cut up veggies with me. It does take some planning and preparation, but it’s definitely worth it.
Last week a big smile plastered my face when my friend that I chatted with a month ago sent me another text.
Drinking filtered water is also really important. Tap water is all over the board and if you live in a location (like Tucson or Austin) where there isn’t a clean natural source of water nearby, drinking filtered water is key. I have a reverse osmosis system through Culligan, but I have heard very good things about Berkey water purifiers as well. I’ll talk more about this next week!
But like I have said before, it’s progress not perfection and my goal is just to educate you so that you know what to do more and less of. Dr. Turner lays out these recommendations (taken from her book) on how to take baby steps to get you started if you’re not a “cold turkey” kind of person:
- Reduce Slowly. Start with one less sweet, one less portion of meat, one less serving of dairy, and one less refined food per day. Start exploring healthier alternatives to these foods, such as coconut ice cream, pinto [or black] beans, hemp milk and quinoa.
- Eat at least one vegetable or fruit with every meal, and build up from there until half of every meal is veggies and fruits.
- Prioritize what organic foods to buy – certainly meat and dairy, but also those fruits and vegetables that absorb the most pesticides: apples celery, tomatoes, mushrooms, etc. Over time, your grocery bill should stay the same as you replace expensive meat with organic fruits and veggies. [Click the link for a list of the “dirty dozen” and the “clean 15”.] https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/
- Start your morning with a glass of filtered water with lemon juice to help detoxify your body. First, buy a simple pitcher filter and then save up for a home filtration system.
Next week, I’ll put together a little post with some things I’m doing to help me stay compliant on this lifestyle. Stay tuned!
Onward and Upward,
“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 30:17