Our Real Food Journey and a New Year’s Resolution

Our Real Food Journey ~ Plumfield Dreams

This article is part of the Carnival of Natural Mothering hosted by GrowingSlowerEvery Breath I TakeI Thought I Knew MamaAfrican Babies Don’t Cry, and Adventures of Captain Destructo. This month’s topic is Natural New Year’s Resolutions. Be sure to check out all of the participants’ posts through the links at the bottom of this page.

Bloggers, visit GrowingSlower to sign up to write for next month’s carnival.
A couple of years ago I learned Andy had been suffering from serious breathing issues for many years, since before we got married. He’s a quiet guy, so I thought all those evenings he didn’t want to talk to me he just didn’t want to talk. It turns out he physically couldn’t talk, and since he’s quiet, he never explained it to me when he felt better. Things escalated over time, until we finally started visiting doctors in an attempt to figure it out. The doctors couldn’t find anything, and kept suggesting anxiety as the root problem. That answer didn’t work for us, and a series of clues led me to the conclusion he was having issues with food. We did an elimination diet for him, and he felt nearly 100% better (and lost 40+ pounds). He’s still working out exactly what things bother him, but it seems to be additives more than the actual food. But, y’all, most of our food, even the “healthy” stuff, is made up largely of additives.

Cut to: Aria was born and the first couple weeks she spit up constantly and was incredibly fussy. I didn’t think it could be normal, so I started researching, and learned she probably had a dairy intolerance. I cut all dairy from my diet, and she was entirely better. With Noah we witnessed the same thing. This time I found it easy to cut the dairy from my diet – not too much had crept back in after nursing Aria. But we were also watching him get stuffier and stuffier, to the point some nights he sounded like he was struggling to breathe. I started researching again, and discovered stuffiness can be a sign of food allergies. I started an elimination diet, and quickly discovered one of the foods I thought I could eat on the diet, corn, caused a severe reaction in him. Eventually I also discovered he was reacting to soy.

By now we’ve learned so much about food and its effect on our bodies. Currently we eat very few processed foods, though we still consume too much sugar (especially me). Andy has cut many things he finds bother him (canned soups, and other such processed foods, artificial sweeteners, carrageenan, etc.). I largely avoid dairy, soy, and corn. Aria doesn’t eat much dairy, though we’ve allowed her consumption to creep up some.

I am encouraged by the good steps we’ve taken for our health in the past couple of years. We also see areas we would like to continue to improve. We both tend to eat too much, and would like to lose some weight. I struggle with moderation – if there’s junk in the house, I eat it. The solution for me is for it to not be around. After all my research I’ve reached a couple of conclusions. I don’t believe there’s one particular diet that everyone needs to follow. I DO believe there are certain foods that are making all of us sick. But I think there are other foods that bother some of us and not others. I’ve reached the conclusion we should all be eating whole foods, and from there the question of specific food groups that might need cut is an individual one. Because the other conclusion I’ve reached is that the very thing we need to stay alive is killing us. Since we start dying the day we’re born, I’m not going to worry overly much about it. I’m going to strive to be healthy so I can live fully – that way when the food eventually takes me out I can go smiling. 😉

I’m not typically a resolutions kind of gal, but it so happens January is the perfect time for us to make this next step in changing our diet. Come January, we plan to:

  1. Cut sugar and gluten from our diets. We haven’t made this final leap yet, because it requires a level of planning and preparation I haven’t yet been ready to commit to. Now I am. I’m sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. 🙂
  2. Stop eating out so much. We get fast food or takeout far too often recently. The change from one child to two has taken its toll on our cooking habits. Though I’m home every day, I work part time and have several other irons in the fire. When you combine that with a baby who is just starting to decide on a schedule, I often find it difficult to have dinner ready at a decent time. Obviously if we’re cutting sugar and gluten, in addition to the soy and corn we’ve already cut, eating out is going to be a rare thing.

Accomplishing these goals requires some planning. To that end, I’ve been doing research. These are some great blogs I’m following:

I’m also pinning recipes we want to try. I’ve got a few boards focused on allergy-friendly or whole foods.

I’m not worried about finding tasty foods to eat. Many of my favorite recipes already fit within this new way of eating. I am, however, a bit nervous about finding simple convenience foods we can fall back on. If you have advice for me, please share!