I've written about this before, but another way we've changed our lives this year is the way we eat. Honestly, I've seen such tremendous change in all of us. I'm still focusing on the 3 things I talked about before-fresh, natural food, grass-fed beef and chicken (and raw milk-here's a site with some info on benefits of raw milk), and little-to-no high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). I think we're doing really good with things. It's taken some getting used to-remembering to read the labels and just paying attention to what I'm buying at the grocery store. It still surprises me to see how many things have HFCS. I've seen the pro-HFCS commercials, but I just don't buy it. Mainly because our bodies do not digest HFCS the same way we digest regular sugar. It isn't exactly clear how our bodies digest it (it's basically a chemical). Again, I'm sure I sound like a wacko to some people but I'm just really convicted about what we put into our bodies. From my faith's perspective, our bodies are the Lord's temple. He gifted us with them, we are created in His image! I need to take care of this gift. And I need to teach my children to take care of this gift. I think I'm doing okay with that when I hear Anna and Jacob ask, "Is this good/healthy for me?" :) I don't want to create paranoia. But I also don't want to create ignorance!
These are the changes I've seen in us...Jacob craves sugar far less (yes, he actually craved it). He drinks a lot of water and doesn't throw a fit about doing it. He really likes to eat veggies now! The other day, I picked some spinach from the garden. I had to tell him to wait until I washed it (because I'd sprayed a home-made rabbit repellant on the garden that included raw eggs and tabasco!)! As soon as it was washed, he munched on several pieces! He loves carrots. He still asks for dessert after almost every meal, but doesn't have a melt down when I say no and is even excited when I serve something like fruit and yogurt (made with honey and raw milk), or even just fresh fruit!
Anna has always been a very healthy eater, so the change I've seen in her is simply awareness of what she's eating, where it comes from, and if it's healthy for her.
I have lost quite a bit of weight (not sure how much exactly and still have plenty to lose!) and I attribute 99% of that to the food I eat. I limit my portions (amazing how much less it actually takes to feel full!) and just plain eat healthier. I rarely drink pop (that was a huge help in losing weight. It's ridiculous how many calories are in pop, not to mention chemicals!). I'm just more aware of what I'm putting into my body and how it will fuel my body. If I feed myself sugar and chemicals, I'm not going to feel very good! But if I feed myself natural foods, full of vitamins and minerals and protein, I will feel good and actually have some energy! What a concept. :) I drink a lot more water. The first migraine I've had in over a year was a couple weeks ago and it was solely from not getting enough sleep. Aaron and the kids sent me for a massage for Mother's Day (it was incredible. I actually fell asleep at one point!). I hadn't been in about a year and afterward, she asked if I was on a diet because I looked slimmer than last time. I told her, briefly, what we're doing and she said, "I can tell. Your skin is much healthier."
Aaron's biggest battle is actually eating regular meals. I've never been able to get him to eat breakfast and if he doesn't feel like he has time to come home and eat lunch, he won't eat lunch either. He has a sweet tooth and his office is full of ladies that have stocks of candy! So his body is fueled with either nothing most of the day or only sugar! He's trying and I try to remember to offer lunch delivery if he can't make it home. :)
These are the things I've done to make this change...I buy grass-fed beef, chicken, and milk (usually yogurt, too) from a sort-of local farm (it's about 40 min. away). I buy eggs from a farm just outside of town here. I don't worry about buying too much organic fruits and vegetables. Like I said in the other post, if I try to do it all at once, I'll go broke and fizzle out! BUT, now that I have my garden it will be organic! :) I am trying to make more meals/food from scratch (well, almost all of our meals are from scratch, but things like bread-baking stuff) to save money and be healthier. I haven't mastered yeast bread, yet. I've given up on the bread machine, though!!! The main snack the kids eat besides fresh fruits and vegetables is Goldfish. It took some getting used to, seeing my pantry fairly bare! But my extra refrigerator in the garage is usually full of fruits and vegetables, instead. I'd really like to master bread making...I just need to try doing it by hand. I also think it would be fun to try making pasta. Now, some of these things wouldn't be cost-saving. It's possible that it would cost me more to make my own pasta. But here's why I want to do it...I know exactly what is in my food when I make it myself. The USDA doesn't always require all ingredients to be listed "as is", if that makes sense (a better explanation is in that Wikipedia article I linked to earlier). And there are no preservatives. I just saw a quote tonight that I think is a great rule to go by..."If your food can go bad, it's good for you. If your food can't go bad, it's bad for you."
I'm not perfect. Sometimes we eat greasy hamburgers and corn dogs at Sonic! My kids like strawberry limeades! But we're taking big steps in the right direction and I feel really good about where we're at and where we're going. I want to stop the cycle with me and my children. I want us to all be educated about nutrition, and be healthy, active people. I don't want to struggle with a myriad of health problems caused by unhealthy living...obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure & cholesterol, heart trouble, depression (I realize not all depression is purely caused by lifestyle, but I think it's a pretty big factor). I want to serve God wholly and I can't do that if I'm tied down by health problems and fatigue! I'm so thankful for the things He has opened my eyes to, for the things He has taught me, for the ability to CHANGE!!! I can't make these changes without His strength. It's hard. It's more work, takes more time. But it's worth it to glorify Him by living a better life!!
So, there it is. Three major ways life has changed for us in the Wallman house! :) I'm a crunchy, hippy, weird, cloth-diapering, home-schooling, natural-food-eating Mama! (I still think it's funny that all those things actually describe me.) But I'm still the same me...all this doesn't make me a different person, it just makes me a healthier, happier person! :)