Changing Eating Habits

appleFor the past month David and I have really been watching what we eat. We would like to not only drop a few pounds but we want to be healthy. While neither of us have to take medications for any disease and according to our doctors we are healthy, we  don’t feel as healthy as we should.
We made the decision a few days before the new year started to change how we eat. Our hope was that with a change in diet that we would experience a change in how we feel. The typical American diet is full of non-foods and things that are not really healthy for our bodies. We decided that we wanted to eat a natural as possible.
Today is DAY 30 of our new way of eating. While we may have had a few indiscretions during the past 30 days I think we both stuck to the plan at least 98% of the time.
We have been very diligent about eliminating processed foods from our diets. That means, no breads, pasta, or chips.  Corn chips with salsa and hummus was an almost daily snack for me.  However, getting rid of processed foods meant no more of this tasty snack for me.  My go to snack now is celery sticks with fresh 100% almond butter. This also meant no “quick and easy” prepackaged meals. At first it was a little difficult to not rely on the convenience of pre-packaged food. However, with time it got easier and easier. Planning ahead was and still is KEY.
We also quit eating dairy products like cheese, sour cream, and cottage cheese.  Dropping dairy was pretty easy for us for since we had already made the leap from cows milk to almond and coconut milk 2 years ago.  Cheese and sour cream are just toppings that add unnecessary calories to our foods. Before my calcium lover friends get all uptight, there are other non-dairy foods with high sources of calcium (broccoli, kale, oranges).
The final item we removed from our diet was sugar.  This was actually pretty easy for us since we had already been cutting back on sugar and products that contained added sugars. It took me more than just a few cups of tea to get used to the taste of it without sugar. However, now I actually prefer my evening tea to be sugar free.  We do allow ourselves to have raw honey from local farms when we want added sweetness.
I won’t speak for David, but over the past month I have felt better. The first major improvement is the constant  pain I have had in my knee due to arthritis is all but gone.  It is so nice to get out of bed in the morning and not feel pain. It is nice to work all day, go the gym, and come home still pain free. I have not been able to wear high heels or even shoes with a wedge heel for about three years. After 3 weeks eating this way I pulled out a favorite pair of wedge heels and wore them. I was shocked that at the end of an 8 hour work day I still had no pain. Since that day I have worn wedge heels almost everyday with no pain.
I no longer feel bloated and irritable. I am not sluggish in the evenings. I am not falling asleep at my desk in the middle of the afternoon.  I have enough energy to get up early and I am staying up later. My workouts seem more productive, and I do not tire as easily while working out. I sleep better at night.
My shopping trips do not take nearly as long because now 95% of my shopping occurs in the produce and meat department. The other 5% is the spice and cooking oil section and the egg and milk sections.
Many people say that eating like this is more expensive. I have to disagree. For the past 4 weeks my grocery bill has been just about the same as it was during the rest of the year. I may spend more on fruits, vegetables and meat now, but I spend nothing on chips, soda, cookies, or other processed foods.
I am also enjoying experimenting with foods that I have never cooked before. There are a lot of vegetables in the produce department that are foreign to me. I plan on getting to know some of them during the coming months.
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