Thursday, September 19, 2013

Detox, Part 1

So, I mentioned several times a few weeks ago that David and I were doing a 21 day detox. Now that we've been finished for a while, I wanted to talk about that a little bit more! I realized that it's kind of hard to talk about the detox without giving a little history about how we got to the point where we wanted to do a "detox." Food is not something that I talk about on my blog very often (like, ever) because I've found that it can be a pretty sensitive topic. So, the FIRST thing that I want to say is that I do NOT judge anyone for how they feed their families, and the point of this post isn't to say what I think everyone should be doing or eating. The number one reason is because I feel like I'm doing the best that I can to feed my family healthy food based on the research I've done, the time I have, and the resources that we have. I understand that everyone has different situations, and I don't know your situation just like you don't fully know mine. So, I just assume that everyone is doing their best, and I'm too busy trying to prepare food for my own family to worry about what anyone else is doing ;) The second reason I don't judge is because we are SO FAR from perfect. I definitely don't have it all figured out, and we certainly have our "cheats" (and, admittedly, we probably "cheat" more often than we should). We love to eat out, my kids have "treats" from time to time, and we do not eat super healthy all the time. So, it would be pretty hypocritical of me to judge the way anyone else eats! All that to say, I realize that food is a very personal thing, and I'm just writing this post to explain what WE do.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, I'll start at the beginning. When I was pregnant with Alaina and on bedrest, I had a LOT of time on my hands. Somehow, I ended up watching a ton of YouTube videos on bread making and "natural living." By the time that three week of bedrest was over, I felt like I needed to get some chickens, grow and grind my own wheat, and make all of my own cleaners. Ha! After Alaina was born and I was adjusting to life with three very young children, I quickly realized that I was going to completely crash and burn if I tried to do it all at once. I thought, "It's not like we eat THAT many highly processed foods anyway." Well, the more I read, the more I realized that almost everything that I bought at the grocery store from crackers, to the yogurt my kids ate, to our bread, was processed and had ingredients that I wasn't excited about. The more I read, the more overwhelmed I got. At that point, I wanted to just give up and bury my head in the sand. I decided to just make a few small changes. For example, instead of feeding my kids goldfish for snack everyday, I started giving them fresh fruit instead. This required almost no extra effort on my part, and my kids made the switch easily.

Not too long after I started trying to get into eating "clean", one of my "crunchy" friends mentioned a website she used for meal plans. I went home and immediately signed up for GNOWFGLINS weekly meal plans. In hindsight, it's really funny that I started there. It's pretty hardcore: lacto fermenting (I had NO CLUE what that meant when I first signed up), sourdough, cultured dairy, sprouting... WHEW! On one hand, I was SO overwhelmed. I remember one week, I nearly had a breakdown because I didn't feel like I had the time to make my own Dijon Mustard from scratch on top of everything else I was making that week. Haha! I quickly snapped out of that and had a little pep talk with myself. I told myself that I was just going to DO WHAT I COULD DO. Any improvement I was making was a GOOD thing, and I was not going to beat myself up because I couldn't do it all. On the other hand, I think it was so good that I started with GNOWFGLINS because I learned so much!! I truly jumped in with both feet, and it forced me to make big changes that I might not would have otherwise made.

So, this food thing has definitely been a learning process. Shortly after starting the GNOWFGLINS meal plans, I decided to try lacto fermenting and sourdough. The lacto fermenting didn't last long at all. (Maybe a week.) Even though I do think it's WONDERFUL for you, I just don't have the time to devote to it right now. And honestly, I don't know if it's something I'll ever really get into. And I've realized that that's ok. The sourdough lasted longer, but ultimately, I had to let that go as well. I was making all of our bread by hand, as well as any tortillas, biscuits, cornbread, etc, using my sourdough starter. For those who don't know, you have to feed your starter regularly and you have to give your dough time to "sour" before you can make anything, so it does require some time and some planning in advance. It's really not difficult, but again, it was just hard to maintain at this point in my life. So, I gave that up too, and I got a bread machine instead. While I think that sourdough is probably better, I think that homemade whole wheat bread is great, too. So, that's what we eat now! And in case you're wondering, making bread in a bread machine is SO easy! Seriously, it requires no skill and very little time. I'm sure that as I continue to learn and as our family changes, I'll make adjustments and adapt our diet also. I might change the way I do some things, I might have to cut back in some areas, and I will probably add some new things, too.

Now, I know that there are MANY different opinions on the most healthy diet. There's vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, paleo, and many, many more. It can really be overwhelming to weed through all of the conflicting opinions. This is one of those instances where I felt like I just had to make the best decision I could and do what worked for our family. We don't do anything crazy -- basically, we just try to eat minimally processed whole foods. In other words, we eat "real food." I get a LOT of recipes from this blog. We do eat whole grains, we eat dairy (although, we don't eat a TON of dairy), and we eat meat (we've bought half of a grass fed cow twice now, so our freezer is WELL stocked). For the most part, we try to avoid eating much sugar (we use a good bit of honey and maple syrup), artificial sweeteners (in my opinion, if you're going to eat sugar, it's better to go for plain ole sugar over any type of artificial sweetener), artificial dyes, preservatives, and soy and GMO's. (I know there's a lot of conflicting opinions on those last two. I decided to just avoid them when possible since they are so controversial and since neither NEED to be a part of our diet.) We also buy as much organic food as possible.

So, in a nutshell, that's kind of where we are in our quest to become healthy eaters ;) This is something that has truly become important to me, and preparing meals is actually not that much harder than it was before we made these changes. Now that I feel like I have a better understanding of what's good for us and what's not, I'm able to adapt most recipes pretty easily. Some things are more time consuming, yes, but I feel like I'm ABLE to spend the extra time preparing our meals, and therefore, I feel like I SHOULD. Really, what it boils down to for me is that I want to do this for my kids, and I feel like good nutrition in their early years is a gift that I'm giving them. They aren't able to make wise decisions for themselves regarding food right now, so I'm trying to make wise decisions for them, and even though they might not love it right now when they don't get to eat a ton of candy, I hope they'll thank me for it later :)

Next, I'll talk about the actual detox and how that went...

1 comment:

kyliecuh said...

Hi Carrie,

I've read your blog for a few years now- I found you through reading Sarah Denley and Ashley's blogs. I've never said hi- so, HI! :) I think it's really great you've taken such an interest in food/feeding your family the right foods. I love that you said proper nutrition is a gift you can give your kids early- I TOTALLY AGREE!!!! I don't have kids, but I am a big fan of clean eating/healthy cooking and I let myself obsess over it a little too much sometimes :) It's a huge part of my daily life (cooking food, thinking about food, obsessing over meal can get overwhelming, and I'm sure when I have children I will obsess even more about what is going into their lil bodies!!) I hope that when I do have kids I will pass that lifestyle along to them. However, I work full time and it is SO frustrating to not have the time to do everything I want to do in the kitchen- and make everything from scratch that I'd like to! so I REALLY respect the fact that you said, since you are a stay at home mom you are ABLE to go the extra mile and you do--and with three small kids I really respect that sentiment even more! I am sure it's not easy. I read a lot of stay at home mom's blogs and it always kind of upsets me if they don't cook/care about what their kids are eating. Especially when they aren't saddled with a full time job like so many other mama's and they actually do have time to prepare healthy meals from scratch for their kiddos. I try not to be judgmental about it, especially because I DON'T have kids and I have no right to be..but I am. Sigh. it's a flaw. :/ Anyway, I wanted to compliment you on this and tell you- awesome job and keep it up! Your kiddos WILL thank you one day!!! :)