Thursday, January 17, 2013

My Journey of Eating Clean

I'm so bad at New Year's Resolutions, mine had to start in September.

I had just gone back to school and working after a summer of visiting with anyone and everyone, and basically living "vacation" for six weeks.  I had eaten out to the point of not even enjoying it anymore, I had started gaining weight back that I lost two years ago and was just feeling blah.

God definitely knows that peer pressure is the way to make me move!  Two years ago, when I lost 25 pounds, I had started because a friend of mine lost 70.  This time, a DIFFERENT friend had just lost 40.  We were on a bike ride in early September and not only was he skinnier, he just seemed HAPPIER.  More energized, at peace.

"So, Brad, what's been going on?"

"I'm eating clean."

"What in the hell does that mean?"

Since we were on a 40 mile bike ride, he had time to explain, and I had time to be very interested.  "Eating Clean" is basically a term coined by Tosca Reno as a way of eating more naturally (lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, low sugar, etc.) but honestly, nothing about this method is revolutionary.  You eat things you can pronounce.  You don't eat things from a box.  Basically.

It's kind of common sense to eat what the earth can provide and NOT processed stuff with a lot of ingredients we can't even pronounce.  I did read her book, though, and after I did, thought...I can do this!  A lot of things had been boiling up around this time: 1) I was spending too much money on restaurant food 2) I wanted to learn how to cook for my friends 3) I needed a way to make food that I wouldn't have to eat it seven times in a row for leftovers.

With some recipes and the meal guides, I really started to watch more closely what I ate.  I started cooking A LOT more and discovered that healthy food doesn't have to taste bad.  I had WAY more energy and wasn't craving the 4pm nap anymore.  I gained confidence in cooking for others.  I lived through temptations of eating food even when I wasn't really hungry. I stopped overeating.

Now, the holidays were REALLY hard.  I mean, I'm a celebratory person by nature, so give me a party and I will most likely eat or drink everything in sight.  So, I'm really writing the blog post for me, to open my eyes to what a gift it was to be able to eat things from the earth vs. things from a factory.

I'm lucky I have the means to buy those items AND time to make it.  I'm happy to say that with attentiveness to what I eat, I'm able to attentive to other aspects of my life--like being more patient and loving, hitting deadlines, working out, etc.  It is a total grace and a total gift to have a method that can guide you.  I don't want to be dominated by it and I don't want to be burdened, but I feel that eating in this way has helped me live more free.

Here's a breakdown of some of the MAJOR CHANGES:

1. Eating out 5-6 times per week to only maybe 1-2 (and that's always with friends)
2. Dishes, dishes, dishes.  I feel like I'm doing them all the time now.
3. Meal Planning.  Yeah, I really have a calendar on my fridge.
4. Grocery Shopping is actually kind of fun and I look forward to the Sunday afternoons where I try a boat load of new recipes.  Totally didn't know what kefir, parsnips, OR kale looked like before this adventure and I can say now that I've cooked with them ALL!
5. I invite people over to my house for dinner.  Previously, I would have been scared to make something that didn't taste good, or would burn.
6. A lot more energy and when I don't eat right, I feel like crap.

Surprises:

1. Notice I haven't really said anything about losing weight...I did lose a little, but the thing I noticed most was the huge energy spike.
2. I didn't really save much money.  Healthy food, yummy food is expensive.  It's an injustice to our world's poor.

You can see my post, Eating Clean in Pictures, to see some of the stuff I've made!  It's been a lot of fun!  Almost like artwork! :)

In the end, this is no way, shape, or form, the end all-be all for my happiness, I'm just glad that one place in my life (my eating habits) that I was always kind of embarrassed by and ignored for so long is getting some attention.  I'm learning new things, loving new things (hello? sweet potatoes, OMG!) and able to share with others!