Thursday, May 26, 2011

We've turned our lives upside down...

Almost six years ago, Superman and I left Southern California in an effort to transform our lives.  Looking back over the past five and a half years, I'd say we've done just that. 

With this journey has come quite a few surprises, though.  Five years ago, I committed to learn to cook from scratch.  I through (oops!) threw myself into it.  I got good enough that I could purge the vast majority of processed foods from our diet.  I actually became quite good at home-made bread, all kinds of baked goods, and could hold my own planning dinners around the vegetables from our own garden.  Sounds good, right? 

Well, it wasn't.  Despite purging the processed foods, using whole grains, and serving my family home-made meals rich in vegetables, we were struggling to maintain healthy weights.  Our energy was erratic.  Our sleep wasn't restorative.  Frankly, we weren't thriving the way I, as the mother, wanted us to.   But I was out of options...I didn't know where to turn next.  So, I did what ever self-respecting blogger does...I searched the blogosphere for help.

I started reading more and more about food...First, I found Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon introduced me to a new way of looking at food and health, but I wasn't a didn't quite feel right.  Don't get me wrong, I learned a lot that I still apply, but it just didn't fit.  I was using "good fats" and I was trying to make sure we had clean food whenever I could.  Nothing really changed.  We were still bordering on chubby.  We joined Gold's Gym and kept at it.  Nothing really changed.  I didn't want to raise chubby children...I felt like I was failing.

I kept reading.  Eventually, I came across Mark's Daily Apple...a blog by Mark Sisson, the author of the Primal Blueprint.   I was so confused.  Primal living?   What was primal living?  Could this really be the answer I was looking for?  I kept reading and found myself even more perplexed.  The Paleo Solution:  The Original Human Diet?  Going paleo?  What had I stumbled upon?  I kept reading...

That was in February and since then, we've turned our lives upside down.  We've given up all grains...all of them.  Even the kids have jumped on board.  So, all those recipes I spent these past five years learning?  I can't use them.  Whole grain vs. all-purpose? Irrelevant.  Corn, Quinoa, Rye, Barley, Oats?  None.   Fusilli or spaghetti?  No, thanks.  Dairy is pretty much gone, but we still have cheese.

So, what do we eat?  Meat, Eggs, Fat (Coconut Oil, Ghee, Avocados), Vegetables and Fruit.  In February, we bought a Blendtec blender...we have a lot of smoothies...  We eat a lot of stuff that we've been told would make us fat and yet, we're not pushing chubby anymore.  In fact, I'm thinner than I've been in forever.  Buttercup is no longer complaining about her 12-year old body, and Valiant is quite trim.  My skin has cleared up.  My hair looks better.  Oh, and I'm sleeping really well.  (Hey, a good night's sleep is priceless!)

My results seemed almost miraculous...too easy to be true.  No counting calories, no crazy workouts (in fact, we barely went to the gym until three weeks ago, but that is another post), no weird food combinations.  We just gave up all grains and upped our protein intake and the weight came off.

I was so jazzed, I told my friends.  Two of them decided that they'd give it a try.  I like to think my results were visible, but I know my enthusiasm and energy was persuasive.   One friend has lost seven pounds in roughly a month (with no exercise) and another friend has lost four pounds in her first week.

All of this sounded so crazy to me, I didn't even know how to blog about it.  It seemed too much like a trick, like magic.  it is is just a new/old way of looking at the way we fuel our bodies.   It might not be right for you, but I'm convinced that for my family, this is the answer we've been looking for.  The war I've been waging with my body is over, and it won.  I'm giving it the fuel it wants and it is rewarding me by giving me the shape I 47!  35 years of body war over in three months.

Now we'll be sharing new kinds of recipes...sharing the successes and failures...especially sharing what works with kids, too.  We're looking at food in a whole new way...definitely turning our lives upside down.  I hope you'll come along for the ride.


kris said...

Oh Erin - Galen would soo love me to jump on board, but it seems like soo much work! How did you give up your grains? I am just ballooning and I know I need to do something... reading this is very encouraging and I would love, love your recipes! Hope all is well - k. Grooms

Erin said...

Kris - it was more intimidating to start this phase of our journey than any other...seriously. The first thing I had to realize is how all of our meals were centered around grains. Breakfast: Oatmeal or eggs and bagel. Lunch: Sandwich (on home-made bread). Dinner: Pasta Dish. Sigh. We've eaten a lot of burgers and steak, eggs and bacon...then branched out. I'll call you...

Alison said...

Yes, the first thing I thought was _- what do you eat for breakfast, with no grains and no dairy? I checked out the Daily Apple website. The recipes look interesting. I wish there was a way to print off just the recipe, without having to print all of the post and all the comments.

I've always thought this kind of low-carb/high protein diet made a lot of sense, but it hasn't always worked for me. I lose a few pounds and then it stops. So frustrating.

I'm looking forward to reading about what you eat, and your recipes. Especially the smoothies.

Erin said...

Allison, I'll gladly share any aspect of my experiences you'd like to hear sounds complicated, but is actually much more simple than you can imagine.