Clean Eating

A few years ago Richard and I decided to make a change in the way we ate. We had both gained weight during and after my first pregnancy, and were both feeling unhappy with the way we looked. So at first, we tried the standard dieting: Eating prepackaged "healthy" meals (Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice meals), and   counting calories like crazy. And we lost a bit of weight that way, but we were miserable. And hungry.

In early 2011 we watched the documentary Food, Inc. And it changed our lives. It opened up our eyes about the food industry and what we are really putting into our bodies. Seriously, if you haven't, watch it. After that, we had a hunger for more knowledge, so we started watching and reading everything we could, and decided that a diet of REAL food was what we needed to turn our lives around we.

So we made a commitment to buy whole, organic, locally grown foods whenever possible. We have a garden, and sublement that with shopping at our farmers market in the warmer months. We also shop at our local "Natural" foods store, as well as The Fresh Market, which both offer plenty of organic whole food choices.

Because of this change, we have also become Flexitarians, which is defined as "vegetarians who occasinally eat meat." I know, it's usually in all in sort of thing with vegetarians, but even cutting down on the amount of meat you eat can make a huge difference in your overall health. We made this change largely due to the fact that we didn't want to eat factory farmed meat, and while we can get local, grass fed meat, it tends to be expensive, and there isn't a wide selection. Currently all of the meat we eat comes from a local farm, and we purchase sausage and bacon from her about once a month.

Here are a few of the changes we've made to our kitchen:
-NO soft drinks at all. Really no sweetened drinks of any kind. We mainly drink just water and unsweetened tea. Richard and Lincoln drink organic milk, I drink unsweetened alomond milk, and Brooks is breastfeed and I sublement with organic formula. We will occasionally buy Lincoln the Honest Kids juice pouches, which are organic and sweetened with fruit juice.
-Striving to only eat foods with 5 ingredients or less. This resulted in us really cutting out prepackaged foods for the most part. No more freezer meals, or "just add this" dinners. All that remains in our freezer is homemade babyfood and vodka.

-organic fruits and vegetables, and locally gorwn, when possible.
-switching to whole wheat flour and buying whole wheat bread (we get ours from Great Harvest)
-switching from refined white sugar to raw sugar or agave syrup
-finding different ways to make grains and vegetables the "meat" of our meals. We use a lot of mushrooms, beans, and quinoa to add substance to our vegetarian meals.

So what had this change done for us? Since switching to a whole foods, flexitarian diet, we have both lost more than our goal amount of weight. We have more energy, our skin looks better, and we just overall FEEL better. And if ever we want to test the theory that this isn't due to our diet, we can just go eat a fast food meal. We all instantly feel sluggish, sometimes even sick. And Lincoln goes into hyperdrive from all the sugar and chemicals in the food. We can feel our bodies rejecting the food and begging us to eat clean!

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